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Addressing fall-related hazards in construction

| Jul 18, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

A startling number of fall-related workers’ compensation claims are filed each year among construction workers, so employers in Georgia should know what they can do to reduce the chances of a fall occurring in their workplace. To this end, they could take some encouragement from OSHA, which sponsors a nationwide Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction each year.

During a stand-down, employees can come together and bring up any concerns they have directly with the employer. The employer, in turn, can raise awareness of previously overlooked hazards and schedule a safety assessment for the future. If they create a safety-minded work culture where employees actively look out for one another, this itself will help minimize injuries.

Employers must ensure proper training, though. For example, workers should know how to inspect and use elevated work platforms like mobile scaffolding and scissor lifts. They should know what personal protective equipment to wear when on these platforms. To lift up materials, workers must utilize rope and pulley systems. Repairing and replacing equipment should be included in the training.

Falls from ladders are widespread, so workers should be discouraged from using A-frame ladders when possible, opting for podium stepladders instead. Written policies and plans should be in place to reduce ladder use and make safer alternatives available.

When accidents do occur, victims may file for benefits, but they may want an attorney by their side who knows the ins and outs of workers’ compensation law. While filing a workers’ comp claim can be easier than filing a personal injury claim, there’s still the possibility of having payment denied, especially if victims cannot reasonably link their injuries to their job. The lawyer may assist with every step, including the appeal. He or she may also discuss opting for a settlement.