Residents of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, probably know that a fall from a ladder, scaffold or roof is the leading cause of death on a construction site. According to a preliminary 2013 U.S. Bureau of Labor report, falls were responsible for nearly 300 of 796 construction worker deaths on construction venues across the United States.
What saddens most is that those falls were preventable, and careful preparation and attention to detail by employers might have saved the lives of those construction workers. Losing a loved one in a construction accident can have devastating financial and emotional implications for the family of a construction worker.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is responsible for enforcing legal provisions which provide workplace safety and health standards. To protect construction workers from falls, OSHA also runs nationwide campaigns to raise awareness among workers and employers about falls and how to prevent them. The federal agency also provides training tools to be used when working from heights, as well as instructional posters that should be displayed at a worksite to help prevent falls.
OSHA’s nationwide outreach campaign focuses on educating employers to provide workers with fall protection, the right equipment for the job and training about how to use equipment safely. The campaign also urges employers to plan ahead by identifying the required safety equipment needed for accident-free completion of each task before starting a job. Worker safety requirements for different tasks can be different, such as safety requirements for a worker six feet or taller will be different from a worker shorter than six feet.
A construction worker or his or her family has a legal right to seek compensation including lost wages and medical expenses if he or she was injured doing a job. Since this kind of case may involve complex and varied legalities, the services of an attorney may be necessary for seeking compensation from the negligent party.
Source: OSHA.gov, “Welcome to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign,” Accessed on Dec. 17, 2014