It’s common knowledge that working in construction, particularly on a high-rise project, is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately one of every 10 construction workers is hurt on the job every year. In 2015, 937 construction workers lost their lives—almost 10 % of those fatal accidents (90) happened when a worker was struck by a falling object.
In fact, more citations were handed out by OSHA for failure to provide fall protection in 2015 than for any other safety infraction on a construction site. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 50,000 recorded instances of a person being struck by a falling object on a construction site in 2015. It’s important to understand, too, that even a relatively small object, falling a considerable distance, can be extremely dangerous. A tape measure falling from 80 feet can be potentially fatal, if it strikes a worker or bystander who’s not wearing the proper safety gear.
While debris and building materials can fall from an upper level if not properly secured or if appropriate barriers are not in place, the greatest dangers are from falling tools and workers. Though most workers on higher levels are harnessed or tied off, most construction workers and supervisors do little or nothing to secure tools, such as hammers and wrenches. Advocates for construction site safety have proposed a number of initiatives to reduce the risk of falling objects:
- For small tools (less than five pounds), the worker should have a lanyard or similar device to which the tool attaches and which is secured to the worker. You should be able to do this without modifying the tool, but you want to make certain the lanyard or cinch attachment doesn’t interfere with the use of the tool
- Tools that weigh more than five pounds should be anchored to a fixed structure
- Whenever possible, don’t use more than one tool at a time
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.