Are You Aware of the New OSHA Fall Accident Safety Standards?
New OSHA safety event addresses fall hazards and prevention measures in the workplace.
Construction site employees engage in dangerous activities and use potentially lethal tools on a daily basis and so are typically at a much higher risk of injury than employees in other industries. Falls from elevation, however, continue to be the leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for around one-third of the total number of fatalities in the entire industry. In 2016, for example, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that 370 of the 991 construction fatalities that occurred that year were the result of falls.
In recognition of the serious risk posed by falls to construction workers across the country, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated the National Safety Stand-Down program in 2018, which raises awareness of fall hazards and possible preventive measures. Unfortunately, falls continue to plague the construction industry, leaving many workers unable to cover their medical bills and lost wages. If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation and have questions about your rights to compensation, please contact our Omaha, NE workers' compensation legal team for help.
Safety Stand-Down Events
Safety Stand-Down events give employers the opportunity to talk directly with their employees about fall hazards and prevention. Typical issues discussed by employers and employees at these meetings include:
- Safety equipment inspections;
- Job specific hazards;
- Protection methods;
- Safety policies and goals; and
- Workplace rescue plans.
These events also provide employees with the chance to ask employers about OSHA safety rules and the company’s compliance with federal regulations.
Measures to Reduce Falls
OSHA requires employers in the construction industry to take certain steps to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms and workstations that are located at elevations of six feet. For instance, employers are required to:
- Guard all floor holes in which employees could accidentally walk, with railings, floor hole covers, or toe-boards;
- Provide guardrails and toe-boards around all elevated open-sided platforms, floors, and runways;
- Provide toe-boards and guardrails to prevent workers from falling into or onto dangerous equipment or machines, such as vats of acid and conveyor belts; and
- Provide employees with safety harnesses and lines, safety nets, handrails, and stair railings.
An employer’s failure to comply with these regulations or to warn employees of potential hazards can have devastating repercussions for workers, who could be entitled to benefits if injured on the job. To learn more about filing a claim for benefits under Nebraska’s workers’ comp law, please call our office today.
Set Up a Free Consultation
If you sustained an injury after falling while employed at a construction site, please call Andres Law Offices, PC LLO to speak with an experienced Omaha, NE workers’ compensation lawyer who can walk you through your legal options. You can reach a member of our legal team by calling our office at 402-491-4003 or by completing one of our brief online intake forms.