Construction workers in Georgia and throughout the country are prone to injuring themselves in falls. In fact, nearly one-third of workers’ compensation claims in the construction industry involve a fall-related injury. OSHA even sponsors an annual Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction in the effort to reduce the number of these injuries.
Employers, for their part, need to consider several steps to keep their workers safe and productive. It all starts with raising awareness of various fall-related hazards. Employers could hold a meeting where the employees can come together and speak their mind to employers about the hazards they have encountered. In the end, a hazard assessment could bring more dangers to light.
The specific hazards that employers must address are plenty. For instance, there should be a written policy that tries to reduce the use of A-frame stepladders. Workers should be encouraged to use, whenever possible, the much safer podium stepladder.
Workers should also undergo training on how to inspect and use mobile scaffolding and lifts. Scaffolds, scissor lifts and other elevated platforms need guardrails around them, and whoever is on them should be equipped with the proper protective gear. A block and tackle pulley system would be ideal for those times when workers are to haul materials up.
In all, employers need to create a safety-minded culture where the workers are actively thinking about hazards. Even in such a work environment, though, a workers’ compensation case may arise after an accident. Regardless of who is to blame, victims may file for benefits, which will cover medical expenses in addition to a portion of lost wages and any disability leave. Having a lawyer may help make the process of filing the claim, as well as any appeals, smoother.