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Preventing falls in the workplace in three easy steps

New Jersey residents who work in construction are probably aware that they run a huge risk of being injured or killed in a fall. Fall protection guidelines are the most frequently violated of all OSHA guidelines. Fatal falls account for some 15% of all worker deaths, including 33% of all construction worker deaths. OSHA and three other government agencies have created a three-step plan for preventing falls.

Employers should, first of all, plan ahead and know when a job will require workers to be on elevated surfaces like ladders, scaffolds, cranes and rooftops. During this planning phase, employers must take note of what safety equipment and training employees need. The second and third steps are simply to provide this equipment and training.

Fall protection gear and equipment are mandatory when workers are a minimum of 6 feet above the lower level. The truth is that injuries and even deaths can occur at a height of 6 feet. Employers must ensure that the right scaffolds and ladders are used for a given job. When using personal fall arrest systems, employees must wear harnesses.

Training should cover both the setup and use of ladders, scaffolding and other equipment. Perhaps with the help of a fall prevention expert, employers may reduce all foreseeable safety hazards on the job.

When there is a fall accident, the injured party may file a workers’ compensation claim and, if there is no opposition from the employer, receive benefits. These benefits should cover wage replacement and all medical costs. No one’s negligence needs to be proven for victims to be eligible for these benefits, but it may still be a good idea to hire a lawyer for the filing process. Injured workers might, after all, need to appeal any denial of benefits.