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Details of OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign For Construction Workers

Construction falls are preventable, and because of this OSHA has launched a national fall prevention campaign in order to stem the tide of falls and save lives.

2012-10-20
October 20, 2012 (Press-News.org) Details of OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign For Construction Workers

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In 2010, 264 of the 774 total fatalities in construction were due to falls. Further, greater than 10,000 workers were injured as a result of construction falls.

Falls are preventable, however, and OSHA - in conjunction with the American Society of Safety Engineers and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - has launched a national fall prevention campaign in order to stem the tide of falls and save lives.

The fall prevention campaign focuses on preventing falls from roofs, scaffolds and ladders and is organized into three distinct steps: Plan, Provide and Train. OSHA has provided numerous resources on its website for employees and employers alike and has made a special effort to reach out to workers with limited English proficiency.

Planning Ahead

OSHA's first step emphasizes that careful planning is necessary when work is to be conducted from heights. The various and distinct hazards of each construction situation need to be evaluated and planned for. That planning should include providing safety equipment for workers such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) and making sure that such expenses are built into the estimate cost for completing a project.

Providing the Right Equipment

Employers (as well as owners of structures and general contractors at construction sites who are governed by New York's Labor Law) need to ensure that the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds and safety gear are present at construction sites and that are in good condition.

Training

Employers need to train workers to recognize potential hazards, know which ladders or scaffolds are the best to use for a particular job and how to use them safely, and how to use safety equipment effectively.

Ladder Safety: Employees should be trained to properly use a ladder, which includes the following safety measures:
-Place the ladder on level footing
-Maintain three points of contact
-Always face the ladder
-Secure the ladder by locking the metal braces at the center
-Don't overreach
-Don't walk the ladder

Scaffold Safety: Employees must be trained to set up and use scaffolds correctly. The following safety measures should be followed:
-During setup: fully plank scaffolds, complete all guardrails, ensure stable footing, plumb and level
-A competent person must inspect the scaffold before use
-Ensure proper access to scaffolds
-Don't climb over cross braces
-Don't stand on guardrails
-Don't use a ladder on a scaffold

Roof Safety: Employees need to be trained to avoid fall hazards on a roof and know the proper use of fall protection equipment. Safety measures include:
-Inspect all fall protection equipment before use
-Make sure your harness fits and is not defective
-Always stay connected/tie off
-Ensure that all anchor points are safe
-Protect all holes, openings and skylights
-Don't sit or walk on skylights or other openings

If you work in construction, you should consult the resources on OSHA's website so that you are armed with more knowledge about keeping yourself safe on the job.

If you are harmed due to a construction fall, it is wise to consult an experienced attorney to help you gather all the facts surrounding your accident and to consult with you about what your legal options may be. If you were harmed due to the negligence of others or by reason of the violation of certain Labor Law statutes designed to protect laborers, you may qualify for not only a workers' compensation claim, but other personal injury claims as well.

Article provided by Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo, P.C.
Visit us at www.triallaw1.com


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[Press-News.org] Details of OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign For Construction Workers
Construction falls are preventable, and because of this OSHA has launched a national fall prevention campaign in order to stem the tide of falls and save lives.