The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has designed a presentation aimed at educating employers about the prevention of fall accidents in the residential construction sector. The presentation is available on the OSHA website, and Missouri construction accident lawyers would encourage construction companies to access the website and make the presentation mandatory viewing for their employees.
Fall accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities for residential construction workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in the year 2009, there were approximately 8.3 million workers in the construction industry, and out of these, 816 workers were killed in workplace accidents. That works out to about 9.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Out of the fatalities in 2009, 277 were caused by fall accidents. There were a total of 42 fatal falls in residential construction in 2009. That same year, there were also a total of 17 fatalities in falls from roofs.
According to Dr. David Michaels who is the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, the fact that workers continue to be injured in falls in residential construction when the means to prevent such accidents are easily available, is unacceptable.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration presentation outlines a number of methods that employers can use in order to prevent such falls. Covers can be used to prevent workers falling through open holes. Workers can use positioning devices while they’re working on framework. Barricades and fences can be erected when workers are working on elevations to prevent them from falls. Equipment guards can be used to prevent the danger of workers falling into open equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also focuses heavily on worker training. Many fall accidents occur because of lack of training. Workers must not only be provided fall protection systems, but must also be trained to use them. They must also be trained about identifying fall hazards in the workplace.