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Has your employer provided adequate fall protection?

The construction industry routinely ranks among the most dangerous in terms of practitioners suffering serious injuries. Yet if you work in this profession, you likely go to work every day in Carnegie taking comfort in knowing that your employer knows the dangers that you face, and thus puts safeguards in place to protect you from them. Yet if your company follows the trend of many employers in the construction industry, you and your coworkers may not be as safe as you believe. What is most troubling is that the most common safety failures are typically those involving readily apparent hazards. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized four causes as producing almost 60 percent of all construction industry fatalities. These include: 

  • Falls
  • Being struck by objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Being caught in equipment or in-between equipment and surfaces

Falls in particular account for an extremely high number of accidents. Knowing this, you might assume that employers would dedicate as many resources as are necessary in order to protect your and others from falls. Yet recent patterns witnessed in safety citations issued to construction companies reveals a disturbing trend. 

Of the top 10 most common safety violations tracked by OSHA in 2018, four were specifically related to fall protection. You might think that providing you with safety equipment such as harnesses and helmets constitutes adequate fall protection, yet issued related to the stability of scaffolding, the proper use of ladders and other safety training protocols are included as well (yet are commonly overlooked by employers). If you or a coworker are injured in a fall due to a lack of comprehensive safety measures, a strong argument may be made that the failure on the part of your employer to have previously addressed them qualifies as negligence. 

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