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Preventing falls in construction, a critical process

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

Construction workers in New Jersey, as anywhere else in the U.S., run a high risk for injuries, especially fall-related injuries. Falls can be serious incidents, harming multiple parts of a victim’s body and leading to a temporary or perhaps permanent disability, not to mention lost time from work and a decline in productivity for employers to deal with. Preventing falls is critical.

One of the first steps that construction companies can take in this regard is to hold a safety stand-down. Every year, OSHA hosts a nationwide Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction that employers can join in. During a stand-down, employers are to place a temporary hold on all work in order to discuss safety with employees. At the same time, they could have a safety assessment done to reveal any hidden hazards and then retrain employees.

Training should cover the use of ladders. When possible, workers should opt for a podium stepladder over an A-frame ladder. Better than ladders, though, are elevated work platforms like mobile scaffolding and scissor lifts. A written policy or plan could make provisions for other safe alternatives.

Workers should know how to install, use and inspect scaffolding. The platforms should be protected by guardrails. To lift materials onto the platform, a rope and pulley system should be in place.

Workers are also expected to have the right safety gear, including harnesses and hard hats. However, these and other safety measures cannot prevent every accident, which is why workers’ compensation law exists. Under this area of law, victims of a work-related accident may be reimbursed for their medical expenses and for a percentage of their average weekly income on a regular basis, depending on the severity of their injuries. To learn more, victims may want to hire an attorney.