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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

Dallas Lawyer – The Need for Workplace Fall Protection is Enunciated by a Recent Construction Fatality

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
A window washer on one of skyscrapers in Shanghai

A window washer on one of skyscrapers in Shanghai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One construction worker died and another was critically injured in San Antonio, Texas, in December 2016 after a horrific fall that was entirely preventable. According to the San Antonio Fire Department, the men were about 75 feet above the ground in a bucket on a forklift when the bucket tipped over and the men fell out. Specific guidelines for workplace safety and fall prevention are provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When a situation such as this tragic workplace fatality occurs, OSHA investigators visit the employer and impose penalties for all alleged safety violations. The penalties have recently been raised for the first time in 25 years.

Ideally, employers recognize the value and importance of protecting workers from hazardous situations and diligently adhere to safety regulations. Tragically, far too many employers neglect the basic duty to provide safe workplace environments. Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, but it’s not because employers aren’t equipped with information on how to keep employers safe in a variety of situations.

Fall safety can often be achieved through the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems. These are referred to by OSHA as conventional fall protection methods. Employers are encouraged to take actions to prevent falls of any kind, such as installing guardrails that will prevent employees from accidentally falling over a building’s edge.

A fall restraint system is one which does not allow a fall of any distance. This protection system is comprised of a body harness or body belt, an anchorage, connectors, and additional necessary equipment, such as a lifeline and lanyard. This is another of the options that can protect a worker from a dangerous fall.

Workers should know that they have a right to work in conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm or death. The best way to establish a safe and healthful work environment, according to OSHA, is with a comprehensive illness and injury prevention program, including fall protection measures.

–Guest Contributor

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