The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it will host national safety events between June 2 and 6 in an effort to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls on construction and industrial worksites. Falls are currently the leading cause of death among workers in the United States construction industry; accounting for more than one-third of all types of worker fatalities.
OSHA plans to organize events geared at raising awareness for the prevalence of these types of accidents, in addition to focusing on prevention and hazard recognition. During the stand-down, employers and workers will pause their workday to discuss fall prevention in construction, highlighting topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and roofing work safety. OSHA has also launched an official national safety stand-down website with information for employers and management officials on how to conduct a successful stand-down. Afterwards, employers will be able to provide feedback and receive a personalized certificate of participation.
This five-day event is part of an ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which OSHA started in 2012 and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. The campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to plan ahead to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for their workers and train all employees in the proper use of that equipment.
CONSTRUCTION SITE INJURIES
The construction industry continues to rank as the most hazardous work industry in the United States. Carpenters, roofers, and those working at industrial job sites incur risky situations on a day-to-day basis, and face a high risk for injury. In a report published by The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational and Safety Health, out of the 32 reported work-related deaths in Massachusetts in 2012, six were the result of falls.
Scaffolding accidents are especially prevalent and a leading calls of fall-incidents for workers. Scaffolding incidents can occur for a number of reasons including incorrect assembly and improper manufacturing. Accidents can also happen when supports fail or collapse, when scaffolding is broken, scaffolding is wet and a worker slips and falls, or when workers are inadequately trained on how to operate equipment.
Approximately 2.3 million men and women or 65% of those in the construction industry work on scaffolds in the United States. Protecting workers on construction sites where scaffolding is commonly used may prevent an estimated 4,500 injuries and 60 deaths each year, according to OSHA. By OSHA standards, employers are responsible for providing safe work environments for all of his or her employees to prevent hazardous situations that pose the threat of serious bodily injury or death.
In addition to the physical injuries a worker may sustain in a work accident, victims and their families must also cope with a great deal of emotional and financial stress. Costs associated with a work injury can include medical bills, lost wages, and psychological care. If you have a question about workplace injury or if your loved one was the victim of a workplace injury or fatality, call one of our experienced Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for a free initial consultation to discuss filing a workers’ compensation claim. One of our seasoned lawyers at Altman & Altman will thoroughly investigate your work injury case and examine all avenues of recovery for you. There may be third parties who can be held liable for your loss, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or a negligent contractor, and we can file claims or lawsuits against all negligent parties so that you receive the compensation you deserve.