Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

The risks of falls in residential construction

Fall hazards continue to be a major risk faced by Maryland construction workers. This is especially true on residential work sites where the workers may be framing in a home's walls. While performing this task, workers face the risk that they they could fall from the wall and hurt themselves on the ground below or land on other dangerous items, like tools or pieces of wood. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set out a few guidelines on how construction companies can protect workers and reduce this risk.

Effective advance planning is a crucial step in reducing fall hazard risk. Before starting a job, a construction company should identify the work areas that are most prone to falls. It should then consider steps in those processes that can reduce the risk. One option is to use pre-fabricated walls to reduce the amount of time the worker spends on the task.

Another way to prevent these types of construction site accidents is to use fall prevention equipment. Guardrails can be used to protect workers from falling into holes or excavated areas surrounding the house. A personal fall arrest system can also be effective. This uses a harness, a connector line and an anchor to keep the worker safely in one location. If the worker should slip, the connector pulls tight against the anchor to prevent the fall.

By following some of these simple steps, a construction company can greatly reduce the probability of a worker becoming seriously injured due to a fall. However, they cannot be totally prevented, and a worker who is injured by falling on a job site may be eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney can provide guidance throughout the process.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Reducing Falls during Residential Construction: Erecting Exterior and Interior Walls" accessed on March 24, 2015

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