Construction site falls are among the most common causes of severe work-related injuries and deaths. Fall protection violations are also among the most cited safety violations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) each year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hundreds of workers die each year as a result of falls at construction sites. Fall injuries can be prevented if management and contractors take the necessary precautions and provide a safe work environment.
Construction sites are notoriously dangerous workplaces, and workers face a number of safety hazards on a daily basis. Employers have a duty and a legal responsibility to follow basic OSHA guidelines for constructing and maintaining fall protection on stairways, ladders, scaffolding and elevated platforms.
OSHA encourages employers to guard holes in flooring, secure handrails, provide guardrails and toe boards, provide safety harnesses and line, safety nets, and stair railings. Workers should be trained on each work site, and floors in work areas should be clean and relatively clutter-free.
Joe Lyon is an experienced OSHA Attorney and fall protection violations Lawyer investigating scaffolding and Ladder Fall Accidents for injured plaintiffs nationwide.
Scaffolding & Ladder Fall Protection Standards
Fall protection is not required for portable ladder use in general industry or construction work, but fixed ladders require more attention. Fall protection systems can be simple or complex, though in the end they need to protect workers from potential fall accidents.
High traffic areas on platforms and work spaces should be kept cleaned and free from slippery spots, tools and debris. Slip hazards are easily identified and employers must address such issues in a prompt manner. Textured, serrated or punched surfaces and steel or metal grating can help workers keep their footing, as can providing proper footwear.
There are many types of fall prevention systems that can help reduce the number of accidents, including guardrails, top rails, mid rails, hand rails, and toe boards. When fall prevention systems can’t be used, employers should provide personal fall arrest equipment like lanyards, harnesses and anchoring devices that reduce the chance of injury or death.
Roofing Fall Injuries account for about a third of all construction fall fatalities.
Fall Protection Violations Lawyer & Settlements
The threshold for fall protection requirements on construction sites is 6 feet. If an employee is working on a scaffold, the fall protection height requirement is 10 feet. Employers must select fall systems and equipment appropriate for each situation, including ramps, runways and other walkways. If an injury occurs as a result of fall protection violations, contact a workplace injury lawyer and you may be able to recover costs related to the accident.
Work safety attorney and product liability lawyer investigating OSHA safety violations and injuries related to defective fall protection equipment. Any injury linked to a defective harness or lanyard may result in a valuable personal injury lawsuit
Personal protection equipment like fall protection systems, harnesses and lanyards are essential for preventing fall injuries. However, company negligence, lack of maintenance and defective materials can make these safety devices worth very little in the end. Management has a duty to train employees on how to properly use safety harnesses and lanyards.
The company also is responsible for making sure their safety equipment is well-maintained and up to date on OSHA safety standards. Construction supervisors and foremen must ensure that all workers are equipped with safe personal safety materials, and are properly trained for a specific work site. Fall protection needs to be adjusted for each situation and each work site. Managers of work sites must be familiar with OSHA fall protection systems.
When defective harness accidents or worker falls lead to severe injury or deaths, victim and families may file lawsuits against the employer. Furthermore, if a lanyard or harness is proved to be defective or malfunctions, victims may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Legal remedies may depend on individual circumstances, and The Lyon Firm works with industry experts to investigate any accident and build the strongest case possible. Contact us for a confidential and free case review.
Recalled Equipment & Defective Harness Cases
Fall protection equipment has come a long way in the last few decades, and although many lives have been saved with stronger safety standards and PPE, many workers have suffered injuries due to defective materials.
Industrial manufacturers like 3M, Honeywell, Gravitec, Falltech, and Condor provide millions of dollars’ worth of fall safety equipment to construction companies, utility outfits, window washers, oil companies and others. But the equipment may fail if it is poorly produced or is not used properly.
In 2019, 3M announced the recall of the 3M™ DBI-SALA® Twin-Leg Nano-Lok™ edge and the Twin-Leg Nano-Lok™ Wrap Back Self-Retracting Lifeline. The products are part of a personal fall protection system recall due to “major issues” that the company said “could expose the worker to serious injury or death.”
In 2018, Gravitec recalled a harness in which the chest and leg straps were incompatible.
Construction Fall Lawsuits
According to national statistics, an average of two people die in the U.S. each day from falling from a height. In 2017, falls represented 17 percent of work fatalities in 887 accidents, an increase from recent years. Workers most risk for a fall accident include:
- Cell phone & Mobile tower workers
- Utility workers
- Construction workers
- Window cleaning workers
- Oil & Gas workers
If you or a loved one has suffered a fall injury due to failed fall protection equipment, or a defective harness, call Joe Lyon to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. For years, The Lyon Firm has worked with safety engineers that are familiar with OSHA fall protection and work safety violations.
The Lyon Firm has recovered millions in compensation for clients by holding large companies accountable for negligence and defective products. Even if a company is unaware that their products were defective at the time of distribution, they can still be held accountable in the court of law.