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Ladder falls contribute to serious injuries at the worksite

According to yearly statistics compiled by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as many as one in 10 construction workers suffer injuries.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that ladder falls are a major contributor to workplace injuries. However, the CDC also points out that these injuries are preventable.

Residential construction rules

Fall protection is the OSHA standard that is most often violated. The guidelines state that with respect to residential construction, companies must follow certain regulations if a worker engages in building activities such as roofing at a level of six feet or above. The worker must have protections such as a safety net or guardrail system, a personal fall arrest system or another type of fall protection sufficient for the job at hand. The employer must show that if there is an alternate fall protection plan, it must be in line with OSHA requirements.

Safety recommendations

The CDC states that while falls from ladders can cause severe injuries to workers, they are also preventable. The recommended precautions include the following:

  •         Selecting and inspecting ladders matched to the user’s task, body weight and work location
  •         Providing alternative safety equipment for work at heights, including aerial lifts and scaffolds
  •         Ensuring that employees who work at heights receive sufficient training and have pertinent safety information

Architects, employers and project managers should also employ safety-in-design concepts and plan their jobs to finish as much of the work on the ground as possible, reducing reliance on ladders.

Seeking help

Ladder safety is vital, but your employer could be negligent in failing to meet OSHA standards for a fall protection plan. An attorney experienced with handling workers’ compensation cases will tell you that if you suffer an injury on the job, you may be able to receive the appropriate compensation. Remember to reach out for legal assistance if you have sustained injuries from a fall at the construction site.

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