Construction sites can be dangerous and one such San Diego-area site proved fatal for a worker. On September 1, 2015, a 56-year-old man fell 38 feet from a platform at the top of a man lift, to his death on the active construction site of a Hollywood Casino in Jamul. Few details as to what exactly happened or what caused or contributed to the fall have been released, as the construction companies work with state and federal OSHA investigators.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”), in 2013 4,585 workers were killed while working, which equates to roughly 12 deaths daily. Of those workplace deaths in 2013, just over 20 per cent occurred in the construction industry.
OSHA also reports that four types of incidents account for over half of all construction site deaths:
- Falls – responsible for 36.5 per cent of construction industry deaths;
- Being struck by an object – responsible for 10.1 per cent of construction industry deaths;
- Electrocutions – responsible for 8.6 per cent of construction industry deaths;
- Caught in or between equipment – responsible for 2.5 per cent of construction industry deaths.
Required Fall Protection
OSHA requires employers to ensure worker safety when workers are working on elevated platforms or work stations and from falling through holes. For construction work, OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection for any work occurring over 6 feet in height/elevation.
Under OSHA regulations, employers are required to do the following to help prevent falls:
- A guardrail and toeboard must be provided around every elevated open-sided platform, workstation, floor, or runway or catwalk;
- Any hole in any floor into which a worker could fall must be guarded with a railing and toe board or a cover;
- Other fall protection equipment must be used under certain circumstances, such as safety harnesses, safety lines, safety nets, stair railings, and handrails; and
- Regardless of the elevation or height, a guardrail and toe-board must be provided to prevent workers from falling into dangerous machinery or equipment, such as conveyor belts, combines, and vats of chemicals.
OSHA regulations provide the specifications with which fall protection systems and devices must comply.
When we think of falls on construction sites, we often think of falls off of roofs or elevated scaffolding. However, construction workers also need to be aware of ladder safety, as falling from ladders can also prove fatal.
Some ladder safety tips include:
- Use the right ladder for the job – make sure the height and stability is appropriate for the work;
- Make sure the ladder is in proper working condition not damaged, and that the ladder is fully extended;
- Make sure the base of the ladder is on stable, level ground and secured before use;
- Wear proper footwear; and
- Do not stand on the top rung.
Call Us Now
If you or someone you love has been injured by a fall or any other type of accident on a construction site, you should call us immediately. The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP have years of construction injury experience to get you all the compensation that you deserve.