Workplace falls and employer responsibility

Every year, workers are injured or killed in on-the-job falls, and prevention is key to protecting yourself. Here are some common questions and answers about preventing workplace falls.

What is the employer's responsibility?

One of the first things that comes up when talking about preventing falls in the workplace is the employer's responsibility. Most importantly, employers must keep the work area and conditions free of any known dangers. While it may be impossible to anticipate every possible accident, an employer who is aware of a hazard that poses a safety concern and doesn't do anything about it may be liable if a worker is injured. Employers must also provide any protective equipment as required by OSHA free of charge to workers and ensure that workers receive proper safety training, including about possible job hazards, in a language they are fluent in.

What can be done to prevent falls?

When it comes to workplace falls, one of the most important considerations is the floor. Employers are responsible for ensuring that floors are kept as clean and dry as possible. Any holes in the floor that pose a potential fall hazard should be covered with a toe-board and railing or floor hole cover. Any elevated surfaces or walkways should also have guard rails and toe-boards to keep workers from falling over the edge. This is also required around any piece of machinery or equipment that a worker could possibly fall into. Lastly, employees should be given any fall protection equipment, such as harnesses and safety nets, as required.

What's the next step?

Of course, if you have already been injured in a fall while you were working, all the prevention in the world won't change it. To get a better understanding of the applicable laws and your possible legal actions for compensation, contact the Law Offices of Katherine L. Niven & Associates, PC, for a free initial consultation.

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