The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says a simple three-step plan can prevent fall accidents. The agency reports that, in 2014, almost 40 percent of workplace fatalities nationwide, including in Ohio, were caused by falls. A fall-related safety violation is cited in a significant percentage of all workplace accidents. The agency says construction company owners must plan projects by assessing the potential hazards, providing the appropriate protective equipment and training all workers in the safe use of the protective equipment.
OSHA recently investigated an incident in another state that claimed the life of a 44-year-old worker who fell from a balcony on the third floor of an apartment complex. Investigators determined that the man was applying a substance to the balcony walls when he fell to the ground. It was reported that no scaffolding structure or guardrails were in place, nor were any of the workers provided with fall protection.
OSHA records indicated that the company had been cited and fined on seven previous occasions for violations related to fall hazards. OSHA said it would not tolerate such disregard of safety regulations as working at heights without personal fall protection and guardrails or scaffolding posing severe danger. The agency pointed out that workers at a height of 6 feet or higher are especially vulnerable.
When a safety violation causes a loved one’s death, the surviving family members may have difficulty in moving forward. While money cannot change what happened, the financial burden of such an unexpected death may be eased by the death benefits provided by the Ohio workers’ compensation system. Along with compensation for end-of-life expenses, dependents of the deceased employee may also receive a financial package containing a portion of lost wages, based on the income level of the worker whose life was lost.
Source: safety.blr.com, “OSHA says employer left worker defenseless against fatal fall“, Nov.13, 2015