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The Slippery Slope of On-Site Accidents: 5 Common Causes of Construction Site Falls

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Construction sites are inherently dangerous. Though no job is completely safe, the industry of building things takes the cake for on-site accident potential. Construction workers are at risk of sustaining injuries or even dying on the job, primarily due to falls from heights, being hit by heavy objects, and electrocutions.

On-site accidents can lead to lost workdays, permanent disabilities, and death. Construction sites have inherent risks that supervisors must manage carefully if we want our workers to return home safely each day after completing their shift. Falls are among the most common types of construction site hazards, but luckily most falling accidents are avoidable with proper safety protocol.

What to do if you’ve suffered a fall

Any person who has suffered an injury due to a fall at a construction site should seek immediate medical attention. Many on-site accidents can be treated with rest and over-the-counter pain medications. However, it is essential to consult with your doctor or other medical professional if you believe you have sustained injuries that require diagnosis and further treatment.

Although some construction sites aren’t equipped with safety harnesses and other equipment designed to protect workers from falls, those who are injured as a result of their employers’ negligence may still be entitled to claim monetary damages associated with the injuries they’ve sustained. For that reason, it’s essential to hire a construction injury firm like this one.

Doing so will ensure that you get the compensation you’re entitled to if another’s negligence caused your injury. Remember to hire an experienced, reputable firm with readily available client reviews and case studies.

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Scaffolding fall

One of the most common causes of construction site falls is scaffolding accidents. When construction workers are trying to access different parts of a site, they’ll often use scaffoldings, temporary structures designed to support contractors working at elevated heights.

When general contractors fail to provide the necessary safety equipment for their workers, or if their supervisors have not received appropriate training in erecting scaffolds to protect workers from injury adequately, severe falls can occur.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set standards that outline how high employees are allowed to work on scaffolding to increase the effectiveness of safety measures. For example, employees must tie themselves off with a safety harness to lose their balance while working on scaffoldings at elevated heights.

If someone who has been injured due to a fall from scaffolding can show that the injury would not have occurred if the company had provided proper training and safety equipment, they may be eligible to recover damages associated with their injuries.

No guardrails on site

Construction sites that lack guardrails or other equipment intended to protect workers from falls are blatant violations of OSHA standards. Guardrails and nets placed around elevated worksites must be strong enough to withstand the load of an individual who has lost their balance and fallen.

When general contractors fail to provide adequate fall protection measures, their employees’ injuries can become much more severe than they would have had proper safety precautions been in place. For example, say a worker installs rebar on top of a three-story building when he loses balance and falls off the structure, landing on the cement below.

The impact of the fall combined with the man’s weight could easily cause multiple injuries that could have been avoided had there been harnesses, nets, and other safeguards in place.

Slippery walking paths

Construction sites that lack proper gravel or other slip-resistant materials on walking paths pose a danger to those who work there. Even small puddles of water can cause an employee to lose their balance and fall if adequate traction isn’t available.

Injuries worker sustains due to falls from slippery surfaces may be attributed to poor weather conditions, defective equipment, or other factors beyond the individual’s control. That said, it’s still possible for workers to recover compensation for their injuries by filing a claim against their employers if they’ve fallen into harm’s way due to the worker’s negligence.

Ambiguous safety procedures

One thing that frequently leads to construction site accidents and falls is ambiguous safety procedures that supervisors don’t communicate clearly to workers. For example, when there isn’t a formalized system for erecting scaffolding or when general contractors fail to provide their workers with the proper safety equipment, falls from elevated heights are likely to occur.

Injuries resulting from falls can be much more severe than they would have been had the company provided adequate training and clear instructions on how best to maintain protection measures in place. For example, suppose an employee uses faulty equipment when he loses balance and falls off a building, landing on the cement below. In that case, his injuries may become more severe due to the pressure applied by both him and the cement.

Unstable stairways

Stairways located on construction sites that are unstable or not regularly inspected can result in severe injuries to site workers. For example, when stairways leading up to the top of a building have missing steps or handrails that fall off, there is a genuine risk an employee will sustain injuries due to a fall.

Injuries sustained as a result of falls from unstable stairways can be severe and life-changing. For example, say a construction worker is walking upstairs with missing steps for weeks due to an apparent renovation project at the site when he loses his footing and falls down the entire flight of stairs. In addition to any injuries he sustains upon impact at the bottom, the man may suffer additional long-term injuries.

Wrap up

There are many reasons construction sites fall short on safety. From lack of guardrails to slippery surfaces, all sorts of problems can arise that will place workers at risk of severe injuries. While it’s true that some accidents cannot be avoided, workers who’ve sustained injuries as a result of their employers’ negligence may still be able to file claims against their employers for damages suffered in the course of their duties.

 

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