Falls: Combating construction's largest threat
Year after year, falls continue to plague the construction industry. They are the biggest reason for life-threatening injuries and fatalities. They're the greatest risk to workers.
For instance, if you look at the statistics from 2016, you'll find that 991 workers died in falls in that year alone. That's not even taking into account workers who were paralyzed, disabled or seriously injured in other ways. Nearly 1,000 people lost their lives, underscoring just how huge this problem is.
So, how can construction companies combat this and keep their workers safe? There are a few options:
- Giving the workers proper fall protection equipment
- Making sure that ladders and scaffolding systems are in good condition and used properly
- Offering the workers extensive safety training so that they know what red flags to look out for and how to work safely on any job site
- Putting up rails anywhere that workers have to approach an open edge
- Updating, maintaining and installing handrails
- Setting up gear requirements so that workers have no choice but to use the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for any job
- Being open about the risks and talking to workers about what they can do to protect themselves and their coworkers
Quite simply, companies need to work hard to set their employees up for success. The workers cannot be expected to avoid falls without proper training and equipment. Many of these accidents and deaths could be easily prevented every year if the right steps were taken.
The families of those who die in construction accidents, along with workers who suffer serious injuries, need to know if they have a right to financial compensation.