The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified the fatal four leading causes of construction worker deaths as: falls; struck-by object; caught-in or –between; and electrocution.
Falls from heights are the leading cause of deaths. Falls on the same level, like slips and trips, are one of the leading causes of injuries in construction.
Construction workers are exposed to fall hazards daily. A fall hazard includes anything at your worksite that could cause you to fall as a result of losing your balance or support.
There are three major types of fall hazards in construction:
- Unprotected roof edges, roof and floor openings, structural and leading edges
- Improper scaffold construction
- Unsafe portable ladders
Unprotected Roof Edges, Roof and Floor Openings, Structural Steel and Leading Edges
Sides and edges, wall openings, or floor holes are usually temporarily unprotected during construction. If the floor holes are improperly covered, it is easy to step into the hole, especially if you are carrying something that hinders your view of what is in front of you. Roofing, siding, and sheet metal work have the highest occupational injury rate. Unprotected sides and edges is one of the most frequent violations.
Further Roof Construction Safety Hazards
While there are plenty of hazards to be found on a given construction site, roof construction has particular challenges.
- Ladder Security and Placement
- Improper Training
- Roof Stability
- Roof Holes
- Edge Awareness
- Improper Use of Fall Protection Equipment
- Poor Line of Sight
- Split Level Roofs and Fall Heights
- Weather Conditions
Improper Scaffold Construction
Guardrails are required for workers on platforms 10 feet or higher. Scaffold violations typically include lack of fall protection. Most workers injured in scaffold accidents link the accident to planking or support giving way or to the lack of guardrails.
Unsafe Portable Ladders
If your portable ladder is not safely anchored each time you use it, you risk falling. You can lose your balance going up and down the ladder, or it may move and slip. Ladder violations usually include not having a portable ladder extend three feet above the landing.
Preventative Fall Hazard Measures
To protect yourself against fall hazards, use protective equipment like guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. These methods are acceptable for construction workers on worksites exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more.
You can also prevent fall hazards by ensuring safe ladder use. Make sure the ladder is properly placed with one foot away from the wall for every four feet of ladder height, and that it is securely pinned to the roof.
Finally, participate in proper safety training, like rooftop safety hazard training.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Construction Accident Victims
An injury on the job can be life altering and requires specialized care. We help injured construction workers get the benefits they deserve. If you are a construction worker and have suffered a fall or other injury at a worksite, contact a Philadelphia construction accident lawyer from McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC for help.
With offices throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout the state, Delaware, and New Jersey. Contact us online or call 215-569-8488 for a free case consultation.