Workers in Pennsylvania, especially construction workers, know that there is a danger in being struck by falling objects. OSHA has called falling objects the third leading cause of deaths in construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has said that 5.2% of all workplace injuries are the result of falling objects striking workers. In 2017, there were 45,940 such injuries.
Falling objects are not the only problem as workers themselves may fall from heights. The BLS states that in 2017, the number of fatal falls was the highest that it has ever been since the establishing of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 1992. Approximately 17% of worker fatalities are due to falls.
To avoid these incidents, construction site owners will want to take three tips into account. First is the implementation of the American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions. OSHA, for its part, has its own regulations but should refer to this standard as a best practice.
The next tip is to develop a safety-minded culture that encourages workers to speak up about hazards. There should be no thought of “acceptable risk” as if a few injuries are simply part of operating a successful business. The third tip is to understand that falling people and objects affect everyone, including drivers and pedestrians.
Not all accidents can be prevented, but those that do occur may be less likely to lead to contentious claims if these safety tips are followed. Injured workers can be covered for medical expenses and a portion of lost income under workers’ compensation law; it is not required for them to prove that anyone’s negligence caused the accident. Employers do have the right to deny payment, so victims may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and assist with the filing. The lawyer may assist with an appeal if necessary.