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OSHA advises on keeping construction workers safe from falls

Construction workers' jobs here in Minnesota and elsewhere are hard enough without having to worry about all of the dangers that come along with them. One of those dangers is falling from scaffolding, ledges and other heights. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

My job requires me to work above the ground. What steps can I take to keep me safe?

Your employer is required to follow certain OSHA guidelines to ensure your safety. Before beginning any job that requires you to be off the ground, your employer should consider the following when planning and bidding for the job:

  • Tasks involved
  • Methods to complete those tasks
  • Fall hazards specific to the site
  • Safety plan
  • Safety equipment needed

If your employer fails to consider any of these factors, you could be at risk. It is vital that your company selects the appropriate safety equipment for the job and makes it available to you at the worksite. Of course, that equipment also needs to be in good working order and properly maintained at all times.

Even if safety equipment is available, do you know how to use it properly?

It is not enough for your employer to make the appropriate safety equipment available. You and your co-workers need to know how to use it properly. Your employer is required to train you to recognize hazards at the jobsite and to teach you how to properly set up and use the provided safety equipment.

What happens if I am injured in a fall?

Even if your employer meets or exceeds OSHA's guidelines to prevent falls, accidents still happen. If you are injured, you will more than likely be entitled to benefits under Minnesota's workers' compensation system.

The last thing you need while you are recovering from your injuries is to deal with the stress and frustration that is often an inevitable part of the process. You should consider enlisting the help of a workers' compensation attorney to advise you and help you obtain all of the benefits to which you are entitled.

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Law Office of David M. Bialke
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