If You Sustained a Fall in the Construction Workplace
Falls in the construction workplace are all too common. If you are a construction worker who has sustained a fall, then you know how serious these injuries can be, and wonder where you can turn for help. Every year, hundreds of falls cause injuries and deaths and could have easily been prevented if only certain precautions were made. In just 2015 alone, there were 350 fatal falls to a lower level out of a total of 937 construction fatalities. To stop these falls in their tracks, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken steps to prevent falls, by creating a campaign to help workers as well as by making it a requirement for employers to provide special equipment to their employees.
Fall protection equipment must be provided to employees who are working over six feet in the construction industry. In addition, if construction workers are working over dangerous equipment and machinery, fall protection must always be provided as well. Employers have many responsibilities, from providing workplaces that are free of dangers, keeping work areas clean and training workers about the hazards of their jobs.
Recovering Damages After a Fall
Because falls are the leading cause of construction site accidents that lead to injury or death in construction, you may wonder what options you have when you have been injured in a fall in the construction workplace. Your financial recovery will probably be affected by workers’ compensation laws. Provided your employer is the only party prevalent in your accident who could have helped you prevent your fall, you will probably receive these benefits instead of bringing a claim in court for damages.
The only way that you will be able to bring a case in court is if your employer acted with gross negligence and intentionally caused your injury. An example of this would be if they were with you on a higher level and started pushing you around as a joke, and you fell down several feet to your injuries. You could also bring a claim if other parties were relevent in your case, such as property owners, equipment manufacturers, or a third-party contractor. For instance, if you were given a harness and the harness snapped and led to your injuries, and you later discover that there was a defect, you may have a product liability case against a product manufacturer.
Many accidents that occur in the construction workplace do so because a workplace law was violated. There are protections that can keep you safe from falls in the workplace; however, if employers avoid these protections, you will not be kept safe as promised.
OSHA’s Fall Prevention
OSHA has started a Fall Prevention Campaign with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and National Occupational Research Agenda. Here are the ways in which you can protect yourself in the workplace, according to them:
- PLAN ahead to get the job done safely by deciding how the job will be done and what tasks are involved
- PROVIDE the right equipment, such as fall protection gear and the proper types of ladders and scaffolds
- TRAIN all employees on how to use equipment safely
If you have been injured in a workplace fall, you may have questions for us. We have experience in construction workplace cases and want to get you the best recovery possible after you have sustained serious injuries. Falls are preventable and we want to help you from start to finish at the Los Angeles Injury Group. Call us today for a free consultation at 310-954-7248.