Too often construction workers are placed at dangerous heights without adequate safety protections. Falls on construction sites are a major cause of work-related deaths and personal injuries.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s official blog recently published a post discussing fall prevention with some simple, excellent advice. The blog advises to:
- Plan ahead for safety
- Provide the right safety equipment
- Train everyone to use safety equipment
That’s good advice. Yet, it’s ignored far too often. I once tried a fall case to a jury where the company produced several thousand pages of documents related to the construction project – but only 2 of those pages were dedicated to the site safety plan. And, incredibly those 2 pages did not even address the equipment being used by the company to place workers at heights. On that project, keeping things moving and getting paid were more important than worker safety. As a result, a worker fell from a significant height and suffered a severe personal injury that left him totally disabled.
As the blog post states, falls are “the deadliest hazard in the construction industry.” Yet, they are also easily preventable. A failure to follow the advice to plan for safety, provide for safety, and train for safety, is not acceptable when lives are at risk.
by Jeff Blackwell