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Fall prevention on construction jobsites

Upon reporting for duty every day, construction workers in Minnesota assume serious risks. Among all risks, falls remain the most serious despite the enactment of strict federal safety regulations designed to keep workers safe. The risk of such injuries includes falls from ladders, falls from scaffolding as well as from other items or locations.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website, 302 out of 828 construction worker fatalities in 2013 resulted from injuries or accidents involving falls. This number is significantly greater than the fatality count associated with any other cause or type of accident. In addition, fall protection or the lack thereof was found to be the top reason for OSHA violations in 2014.

OSHA published a Worker Safety Series for the construction industry. In this online document were multiple recommendations to improve safety on construction site specific with the goal of preventing falls. In these suggestions, workers and site managers are encouraged to:

  • Conduct regular inspections of scaffolding equipment to ensure all safety requirements are met.
  • Always use the right ladder for a given task or job.
  • Wear safety harnesses.
  • Utilize elevated platforms or aerial lifts.
  • Close up any visible holes in platform flooring.

Adding guardrails or other controls near the edges of floors or roofs was also noted as a way of preventing an on the job accident caused by a fall.

Many serious spinal cord injuries, broken bones, head or brain injuries and more are sustained by construction workers who fall unnecessarily on job sites. These accidents often result in the need for workers’ compensation claims in Minnesota.


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