It’s common knowledge that working on a construction project can be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. The power tools and heavy equipment on a construction site can malfunction or may be carelessly assembled, operated or maintained. Workers can be seriously hurt by falling objects, from construction materials to tools to jobsite debris.
The most common cause of injury on construction sites, though, is falls from heights. An area of significant concern involves falls through unprotected roof openings or skylights. Because of the serious nature of these types of injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put regulations in place. Under OSHA guidelines, all employees working on any surface that is at least six feet above a lower floor or surface, must be protected from potential falls. OSHA typically allows contractors and owners to employ a variety of means to ensure compliance:
- A personal fall prevention system (PFPS) may be used—this may involve a fall restraint system, where the worker is tethered to a safety bar or location, or it may involve a fall arrest, where the worker can reach the point of a fall, but will have the fall arrested
- The use guardrails or other barriers
Skylights can pose a significant danger because they’re not designed to hold the weight of a human being. Unfortunately, too many workers don’t know this and may even sit on a skylight to take a break. Because of the risk tied to skylights, there are regulations requiring that they have protective fencing or barriers around them.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
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