California construction workers can attest that much of construction work is done off the ground. Even when working on a single-story building, construction workers may find themselves elevated 30 feet or more. Construction on a skyscraper may entail working hundreds of feet in the air. A fall from virtually any height has the potential to cause physical harm. Therefore, it is not surprising that many of the most serious construction injuries are the result of falls.
According to the assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than one-third of construction industry deaths are attributed to falls. In response to this issue, OSHA recently announced the initiation of a national stand-down to promote greater fall awareness.
The stand-down is scheduled to take place from June 2 thru June 6. OSHA’s aim is to stimulate conversation among construction workers and employers about safety practices that promote fall prevention. Safety while on ladders, on scaffoldings and on roofs are among the encouraged topics of discussion.
Partnering with two other national occupational-related programs, OSHA started its Fall Prevention Campaign in 2012. Part of the campaign includes providing employers with informational materials that illustrate fall prevention and safety techniques.
OSHA’s concern about falls is statistically supported. In fact, fall protection in construction was the single most violated safety standard for the fiscal year of 2013. Fall regulations pertaining to scaffoldings as well as those relating to ladders are recognized as being frequently violated.
Hopefully, the stand-down will help serve as a catalyst for construction companies to examine and refine their safety practices so as to lessen the chance of fall injuries to their workers. Perhaps the necessity for the stand-down will diminish as more companies follow regulations and exercise vigilance in the prevention of falls.
Should you experience an injurious fall while working on a construction site, you should consider seeking advice from an attorney with insight to California’s workers’ compensation laws to ensure you receive your legally entitled restitution.
Source: safety.blr.com, “OSHA announces stand-down to prevent falls in construction,” March 25, 2014