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Ways to prevent injuries from high falls on construction sites

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | Construction Accidents

If you are a New York construction worker, your employer no doubt provided thorough training before allowing you to carry out your duties on a job site. If your employer scheduled you to work at great heights, you may have undergone additional, specialized training. The company also likely provided you with equipment to help you stay safe.

There are state and federal laws that govern construction work, especially for workers who must climb up high or work on scaffolding on the exterior of a building. One of the most frequent causes of construction site fatalities is falling from high places. Such accidents often occur for several reasons.

Malfunction of a ladder causes falls on construction sites

Portable ladder “walking” is a common problem in older, well-used ladders. A worker should regularly inspect a ladder before using it in case it is broken or not functioning properly. It’s always best to immediately report any problem issue regarding a ladder. While OSHA requires that damaged ladders be removed from use, it doesn’t always happen.

There is definitely a safe and an unsafe way to climb a ladder. Misuse of ladders often are typical defenses to ladder malfunction cases. Always heed proper ladder use instructions and training.

If lift equipment is used to get you to a high place, you are at risk for injury

If you are working on a top exterior level of a building, you might have to use a special lift device to get there. If a device is defective or something goes wrong during the lift process, you might suffer a fall, resulting in severe, even life-threatening injuries. Construction company owners and contractors are obligated to make sure all lift devices are functioning properly and proper safety equipment is provided, as required under OSHA and Labor Law 240. Make sure you report any problems with the lift or equipment before starting work.

Falls from rooftops often occur on New York construction sites

If you are part of a crew that is installing, repairing or renovating a roof, there are many issues that can arise to place you at risk for a fall. If you are working near the edge of a roof, one wrong step, trip or slip can be disastrous. If another worker is careless or reckless, this can also place you at risk for falling from a great height when you are working on a rooftop. Proper safety equipment, as provided by OSHA, can prevent many falls.

Recovering from a fall on the job

As a New York construction worker, your body must be in good working condition to carry out your duties in the workplace. If you fall from a great height, it could take weeks or longer to recover from your injuries. In fact, some falls might result in permanent disability. If your company pays you by the hour, financial distress may arise at home due to lost wages. Call us to understand all of your rights and to determine if you have a case.