According to OSHA, nearly 6.5 million people work in the field of construction, which is recognized as one of the most dangerous career fields an individual can work in. The fact is, a construction worker has to work in areas where they are more susceptible to engaging in an accident and many times, they are at a greater risk of getting hurt than most others who are working in different fields. Although sometimes my hand cramps when I am writing these blogs, so I am pretty hard core too…
Some of the Potential hazards for workers in construction include:
▪Falls (from heights)
▪Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast
▪Failure to use proper personal protective equipment
▪Repetitive motion injuries
As you can see construction can be a very dangerous job, so please take time to thank the men and women who help build our society.
Because falls are one of the most common types of accidents that construction workers engage in, below we share a few tips OSHA recommends you implement that will help prevent these types of incidents. However, if you happen to be a construction worker who has recently sustained an injury while on the job, it might be in your best interest to discuss your accident with worker’s compensation attorney Paul Hammack. It is important that you become aware of all the benefits you are entitled to collect and that your employer provides you with these in a timely manner. This is something Hammack Law Firm can help you understand along with many other important things that come along with a work accident claim.
How to protect yourself from a fall?
According to OSHA, “falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry” each year. There are a number of reasons why falls occur which include “unstable working surfaces, misuse or failure to use fall protection equipment, and human error.” Some things OSHA suggests you do help prevent a fall include:
- Assume your balance is not as good as it used to be and consider using aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working surfaces.
- Erect guardrail systems with toe boards and warning lines or install control line systems to protect workers near the edges of floors and roofs.
- Cover floor holes. Especially if I am working because I rarely see anything on the ground when I am walking.
- Use safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems (body harnesses).
How to prevent a fall from a ladder?
OSHA also highlights that ladders and stairways are another source that contributes to workplace injuries and fatalities among construction workers. It is estimated that “there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction.” So, here’s what you can do to help prevent yourself from falling off of a ladder.
- Use the correct ladder for the task.
- Have a competent person visually inspect a ladder for defects before using it. This includes looking for:
- Structural damage, split/bent side rails, broken or missing rungs/steps/cleats and missing or damaged safety devices;
- Grease, dirt or other contaminants that could cause slips or falls; especially banana peels, we have all seen how much those mess Mario up.
- Paint or stickers (except warning labels) that could hide possible defects
- Be sure that ladders being utilized are long enough to safely reach the work area.
- Take a moment to mark or tag damaged or defective ladders for repair or replacement or destroy them immediately, so somebody like me who does not notice these defects falls.
- Never load ladders beyond the maximum intended load or beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity.
- Be sure the load rating can support the weight of the user, including materials and tools.
- Avoid using ladders with metallic components near electrical work and overhead power lines. A fall is bad enough, but electrocution then a fall is about as unlucky as being a Browns fan.
Safety is key in the construction industry and is important that everyone takes precautionary measures so that serious and even fatal accidents don’t occur. However, if you are the victim of a workplace accident and would like to discuss what your rights are as an injured employee, contact Hammack Law Firm now by calling 864-326-3333. Our firm provides legal services to those residing in or working in Greenville and Spartanburg, SC.
Paul Hammack has 18 years’ experience as a trial attorney. He worked for insurance companies for 15 of those years so he has the knowledge and experience to get the most out of your workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. Unlike most big box firms, Paul is not afraid of taking a case to trial. If you are hurt on the job or by someone else’s negligence we want to help. Better call Paul! Hammacklawfirm.com.
You can contact Hammack Law Firm at:
223 West Stone Avenue
Greenville, SC 29609