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What Employers Can Do About Falls in Construction

The construction industry sees an unfortunate number of falls throughout the year in Wisconsin and across the U.S. Fall-related injuries are behind more than 30% of construction claims. These injuries can be more severe than others as workers may injure multiple parts of their body, suffer a short- or long-term disability and be prevented from returning to their job.

Every year, OSHA sponsors a nationwide Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, and the insurance company Nationwide has been giving construction workers training on how to spot and address hazards. Employers, for their part, may want to host a stand-down of their own so that employees can talk to them directly about hazards they have encountered. Employers could then perform a safety assessment.

Training should cover the proper use and inspection of elevated work platforms like scissor lifts and mobile scaffolding. Employees should know when to repair or replace a given piece of equipment. On these elevated surfaces, they should wear harnesses and other essential protective gear. Rope and pulley systems will be needed as aids in hauling up materials.

A written policy or plan should be in place to minimize the use of dangerous A-frame stepladders. When possible, employees should use podium stepladders. It’s clear, then, that companies can only prevent falls if they carry the right resources.

While many construction accidents/farm accidents involve a fall, not all of these will lead to a workers’ compensation claim. It could be that workers were clearly the victims of another’s negligence. The scaffolding used in their construction site, for example, may have had a manufacturing defect. Whatever the situation is like, victims may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and determine how much they might be eligible for in damages. The lawyer may take on negotiations as well.

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