Fall Protection Defect Lawyer
Construction accidents happen. You may be covered by workers' compensation insurance or your employer's liability coverage.
Still, if the equipment you were using was defective, improperly maintained, or just downright the wrong equipment for the job, there may not be enough insurance to cover all of your medical bills and other losses after a construction accident.
Were you injured as a result of a fall protection defective product? Did you lose a loved one in a wrongful death that could have been avoided?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys specialize in product liability cases where our victims have been harmed due to the negligence of others.
Call a products liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Common Construction Safety Equipment
There are now numerous workplace safety laws, including those enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
It outlines what safety equipment should be used, when it should be used and how it should be provided, stored, and maintained by employers, general contractors, subcontractors, or owners.
Workers' basic safety precautions, such as guard rails and fall protection systems, avoid injuries from hazardous or toxic substances, electrocution, falling items, and sharp objects. They are utilized by all kinds of laborers and construction projects and guard against hazards that affect everyone.
Examples of common construction safety equipment include:
- Fall arrest systems
- Vision and hearing protection
- Safety warning equipment
- Fall safety nets
- Hand, foot, face, and head protection
- Guardrail safety system
- Blade and safety guards
- Building collapse prevention equipment
- Trench shoring
- Hazmat protection
- Explosion and fire protective equipment
- Fire extinguishers
- First-aid kits
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the agency's compliance officers enforce construction safety equipment standards, who inspect workplace settings for compliance with OSHA requirements.
They can issue citations and fines to employers that do not conform to this minimum required standard.
Major OSHA Construction Safety Requirements
There are several types of major OSHA requirements to prevent construction accidents from occurring. Construction safety equipment is provided when an agency compliance officer or inspector enforces these requirements.
Fall Protection Systems
The main job of fall protection systems in construction is to help workers avoid personal injury from a construction accident that involves falls from heights. Unfortunately, a construction accident that involves falls is the leading cause of death in workplaces.
With a fall safety system, workers can be prevented from falling or protect themselves when they do fall. An easy yet effective way to prevent personal injury is installing a scaffold tower with a personal fall arrest system (PFAS).
A worker should wear fall protection equipment such as a hard hat, face shield, safety glasses, earplugs, and head protection, work gloves, and sturdy boots with non-slip soles for all fall hazards or where there is a risk of dropping heavy tools.
Vision and Hearing Protection
The other essential safety equipment required by OSHA for construction workers are special glasses to protect their eyes, earplugs or muffs, and respirators or face shields for working with hazardous materials or breathing in dust.
All construction workers must use personal protective gear to protect themselves from chemical exposure, radiation, asbestos, etc.
Safety Warning Equipment
Labels or signs are used for safety warning equipment to show construction workers where they should not work or avoid certain obstacles. Signs are also displayed at the beginning of an area that has a potential risk associated with it. For example, there will be signs warning workers that they are entering a danger zone with asbestos exposure.
Other types of personal protective equipment that are required for construction employees include:
- Hearing protection devices
- Eye protection with side shields or goggles
- Hard hats with removable chin straps
- Gloves for handling hazardous building materials
- Steel-toed shoes or boots
- Earplugs or noise protection devices
- Respirators or face shields for working with chemicals or dust
- Gas masks for work in toxic environments
- Fall safety nets
Fall Safety Nets
Falls from heights should be prevented as much as possible, and a fall safety net can help accomplish this goal. The net should be firmly attached to a strong anchor that is fixed securely into the ground.
If there are other high objects nearby, such as trees or structures, those objects must also have the appropriate protections in place.
Workers are more protected when they are attached to a falling net employing a full-body safety harness. They fall into the safety netting system, which then gently cradles them instead of dropping them on the ground below.
When they have recovered from their shock, workers can be taken via an elevator or carried down by other means. If the netting system is installed correctly and maintained, workers will be much safer.
Personal Fall Arrest Systems
Personal fall arrest systems are essential when no other alternative exists to protect workers from falls on a construction site. Safety nets can catch workers if they fall off of one level to another below them.
A safety harness must be worn securely with all parts intact and in good working order, attached employing carabiners or other connecting devices to a lanyard, lifeline, or vertical line that is firmly attached to an anchorage.
Lanyards, lifelines, and vertical lines must not be used in place of the personal fall arrest system. The safety net for fall protection must also comply with OSHA regulations and ANSI standards like all other types of construction safety equipment.
Their purpose is to prevent ladder fall by stopping a worker from falling when they slip and lose balance, but these devices do not catch them when they fall. Therefore, all parts of the safety net system must be rope, wire rope, webbing, or metal.
Rope and wire rope should not be used where there is a possibility that they may get wet; in this case, the material should be changed to metal cables.
Trucks and Other Equipment at Work Sites
Vehicles must be equipped with rolling drums or barriers for any loads that might fall out while the back of the truck is open. If the vehicle has no means of preventing loads from falling, workers must tie down the load with straps or other secure fasteners before transporting it.
Vehicles should also have flashing-amber warning lamps on top while they are moving to be seen by other vehicles and pedestrians at night, and they should have a slow traveling speed that is no more than 10 miles per hour.
Every construction site requires various tools and equipment items to get the work done, but some must be present, or workers become exposed to serious dangers on the job.
Therefore, every worker who is on the scene at any time must wear high-visibility clothing, including vests or bright jackets, to make sure they are seen at all times.
Workers at worksites must always comply with the construction safety equipment rules. In addition, the tools they are required to carry should not be used for any other purpose besides the building project at hand, including their own homes.
Construction Site Safety Regulations for Workers
There are certain construction safety regulations that workers must follow to ensure their safety on the job. For example, they must wear high visibility clothing, use proper tools, keep up with site equipment and vehicle rules, and follow all construction safety regulations.
Construction is a dangerous profession for workers exposed to various health hazards every day of the week. These include loud noises that can damage their hearing, chemicals that may be toxic, and extreme temperatures that can be harmful to the body.
Construction Workers' Daily Tasks
Most construction workers spend their days working with heavy equipment like cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, or other vehicles to complete tasks like digging trenches for drainage systems or roads. Most of this work is done outside in weather conditions that vary from extreme heat to freezing cold.
Workers should follow safe work procedures like wearing appropriate clothing, working in pairs when necessary, always staying aware of their surroundings to avoid hazards like falling objects or other construction site dangers, and using tools properly to prevent injuries.
Construction Site Hazards for Workers
There are numerous hazards that construction industry workers face every day to complete the assigned work. These include injuries from ladder fall, working in extreme weather conditions, noise-related hearing loss, breathing in harmful fumes or dust particles, and being exposed to toxins or chemicals.
Construction employees must be aware of these construction site hazards and take precautions against them with proper safety equipment like hardhats with head protection, high-visibility clothing, earplugs to protect their hearing, and safety goggles.
Emergency Procedures for Construction Sites
When there are construction site emergencies or accidents that happen at work sites or when workers are not feeling well, the first thing that managers must do is ensure that all workers are safe. It involves getting them away from any construction site danger or hazard and also assessing their physical conditions.
Managers should not allow any worker who has been injured to continue working until they have received medical attention for the injury from a medical professional.
Allowing injured construction workers to keep working when they are in pain or when their injuries are so severe that they can't work could cause further damage or infection that will prolong their recovery.
The Dangers of Working at Heights
Many construction industry workers are required to work at heights, which means working on the tops of structures or elevated surfaces. It is dangerous for them because they are more exposed to weather conditions while working and more likely to be injured in a construction accident.
Workers must follow all safety regulations when they are working at heights, including using safety harnesses to attach themselves to the high structure in the air. Then, if there is a construction accident or they lose their balance, they will not experience ladder fall.
Those who complete tasks while standing on ladders or on top of objects like dumpsters must keep their legs spread apart with one leg on either side of the object they are standing on.
Working in the Sun
Construction workers often have to work outdoors when it is sunny, which can be quite dangerous depending on where they are working and how long they have been working in direct sunlight.
The most serious condition that can come from being exposed to direct sun for extended periods is heatstroke or heat exhaustion, which requires the attention of a medical professional immediately.
Sick or injured construction workers experiencing lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, and very high body temperatures must be moved into the shade and given cold compresses or ice packs to reduce their body temperature. Drinking water is also important in helping them avoid heatstroke.
Hearing protection is utilized to avoid noise-induced hearing loss from loud equipment, heavy equipment, or the excessive sound levels encountered on a construction site. The ear protection typically reduces noise levels 15 to 30 decibels depending upon the device utilized.
Both of these items are mandatory since they have been around for decades and have been proven effective in protecting workers from the noise levels of construction sites.
In addition to hearing protection, it would also be a good idea to bring earplugs to reduce the amount of construction noise that a worker is exposed to daily. However, workers must be aware of faulty safety equipment, like the 3M earplug that was shown to have harmed millions of people due to its defective design.
While ear muffs are mandatory for your safety, you should also think about bringing your earplugs. Earmuffs only prevent the loud sound from reaching your eardrum, but they do nothing to stop the noise already in your ears, which can cause lasting damage over time.
Construction Site Workplace Injuries: Prevention and Treatment
There are several ways you can reduce or prevent injuries while working on a construction site, and the first is to avoid faulty safety equipment. You might be tempted to go out and buy or rent something cheap, but it is more important to have the proper safety equipment for your job, whether you are building a house or repairing one.
It means buying hard hats, goggles, ear muffs, gloves, and other protective gear to prevent injuries during a construction project.
Another way to prevent workplace accidents is to receive proper safety training before working on a site. It means going through all safety procedures with them to know what to do if a construction accident occurs or if there is a dangerous situation.
Since construction companies employees work with dangerous objects and tools, they must know how to use them correctly and safely.
Lastly, you should check equipment regularly. Checking includes testing ladders for stability before climbing them, checking the strength of ropes and safety harnesses before using them, and keeping flammable chemicals away from open flames.
Construction workers need to wear a dust mask while working on a site because it will help them avoid breathing in hazardous particles such as lead, asbestos, and cement dust. In addition, wearing a dust mask can reduce the chances of getting sick from being exposed to contagious bacteria or viruses.
Safety glasses are another protective item that workers should wear. OSHA standards typically require them, but if not, you should bring your safety glass to work with you since safety glasses can stop flying debris from cutting or scratching your eyes while you are working on a site.
"Fatal Four" Construction Injuries
Several injuries are considered part of the "Fatal Four," which usually affects construction industry workers more than any other occupation.
Four fatal injuries that can occur in a construction accident:
- Electrocution: From faulty wiring to falling electrical lines, workers are put at risk of electrocution.
- Falls: Construction sites can be very dangerous because they often have steep roofs, high ladders, and holes in the ground that make it easy for falls to happen. These serious ladder fall injuries could range from broken bones to head traumas or even death.
- Being struck by an object: Workers are often on the move during work hours which means they might accidentally get in the way of a falling object. In addition, construction sites have lots of equipment and tools that can cause serious harm if they hit someone on-site, so all employees need to be aware of their surroundings.
- Slips and falls: There are several surfaces that workers may encounter while working, which could cause them to slip or fall. Things like oil, metal shavings, water, dirt, and wet surfaces can cause people to lose their balance and experience ladder fall. That is why it is important for workers to always use the correct personal protective equipment and footwear when working on a construction site.
All injured workers harmed from a construction accident because of faulty safety gear should speak with an experienced product liability attorney right away. Unfortunately, it can take years to resolve these types of cases through arbitration or litigation, so don't wait until it's too late!
Hire a Fall Protection Defect Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Were you injured due to defective safety equipment or lose a loved one through a wrongful death? Then, don't delay and call a fall protection defect attorney at (888) 424-5757 for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation!
Per OSHA, if your employer fails to provide you with proper safety equipment, there is a chance of receiving compensation for your serious injuries. Call the products liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today for a free consultation.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
In addition, our law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. Meaning no upfront fees are required until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.