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The danger of falls on construction sites

West Virginia construction workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions possible. Many things can happen on construction worksites but falls are known to be among the most serious issues facing employees on construction job sites. Federal regulations monitor fall prevention guidelines and procedures but the risk of falling from scaffolding, a ladder and more always exists.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 828 construction workers who died due to job-related accidents. Of those fatalities, 302 involved falls. Lack of proper protection or problems with fall protection were found to be the number one factor in all of OSHA's 2014 violations. In addition, the number of construction worker deaths related to falls was far greater than the number of deaths caused by any other factor.

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued recommendations designed to improve construction site safety with a particular focus on prevention falls on job sites. Some of the recommendations included the following:

  • Use of safety harnesses at all times.
  • Proper use of aerial lifts or elevated platforms.
  • Choosing a ladder that is appropriate to the job task.
  • Making sure no holes are visible in the floor of a platform.
  • Regularly inspecting scaffolding to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

The addition of guardrails near a floor or roof edge was also included in the recommendations.

Brain injuries, broken bones and spinal cord injuries are just some of the things that workers can experience when falls happen on construction job sites. These accidents often necessitate the filing of a workers' compensation claim for West Virginia employees.

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