Many workers in Georgia suffer severe injuries after falling from elevated surfaces. The hospitalization rate for ladder-related fall victims, for example, is three times that for the victims of other incidents. For employers, the consequences can include decreased morale among co-workers and less productivity. Injured workers may be out of work for over a month.
Planning, providing and training
OSHA gives three steps for preventing falls: planning, providing and training. Planning means, among other things, assessing the risks inherent in a given project. Providing means ensuring that workers carry the right tools, such as the right ladder for a job, and wear the proper safety gear like harnesses. Training should cover OSHA fall prevention guidelines as well as the right use of tools and safety gear.
Understanding how things can go wrong
Once workers are up on the ladder or the scaffolding, it’s up to them to remain safe. This is where things can take a turn for the worse. Employees in a workplace that places little emphasis on safety can easily become complacent and start taking risks. There’s also the risk of even well-trained employees doing something negligent like working while fatigued or impatient. Employers must address these issues in a fall prevention program and the thorough training of job site supervisors.
Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim
If the fall injury you sustained was work-related, then you can file for workers’ comp benefits. This is regardless of who was at fault, but you should know that the employer may deny payment if you were clearly being negligent. Filing the claim and, if necessary, an appeal can be a difficult process on one’s own, so you may desire legal counsel. In the end, you may be compensated for your medical bills and a portion of lost wages.