Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Construction Site Falls
Falls are one of the most common causes of work-related injuries in almost every field and industry, however, when it comes to construction, falls are considerably more dangerous, carrying the possibility of causing severe injuries or even fatality. Based on numerous reports from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) as well as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the experienced personal injury attorneys at InjuryTN know that falls are actually the most common cause of deaths on construction sites.
Furthermore, for all workers across all industries, falls make up more than 30% of all job-site fatalities.
Construction Site Falls
On a yearly basis, hundreds of construction workers’ lives are lost and thousands more are severely injured inside the U.S. due to work-related falls. These numbers have been steadily increasing over the years, and, as reported by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, over 400 fatalities related to falls occur every year in the construction industry.
Such falls don’t necessarily need to have occurred from some significant height in order for them to have resulted in injury or fatality. Often, case investigations will uncover that adherence to safety standards make all the difference when it comes to preventing or lessening the impact of the fall.
Fall Prevention on Construction Sites
Typically, the prevention of such falls is accomplished by following three easy steps, as established by the CDC’s National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, outlined below:
- All contractors should plan with their workers how everyone should be working safely from heights prior to beginning each job.
- All contractors should provide the appropriate equipment for the given circumstances like height and conditions, and workers should always abide by instructed standards when using equipment.
- Both contractors and workers should maintain their knowledge through training in utilizing fall prevention equipment as well as best practices for general safety on-site.
Get in Touch with Experienced Legal Help
If you have been involved in a construction site fall, you need to get the right legal representation as soon as possible. Contact our office to schedule your free and confidential consultation today!
Job-Specific Construction Equipment Safety
Prevention will always be preferred on construction sites, and this accomplishment will require identifying the most prevalent dangers involved in on-site falls. As put forth by OSHA, such dangers include:
- Gaps in sides, floors, and walls without proper guard railing or other protection
- Incorrect construction of scaffolding
- Unprotected or protruding rebar
- Improper utilization of portable ladders
In any case, the employers should address issues of this kind as well as make sure all workers are conducting their jobs safely.
Sides, Holes, & Walls
Supervisors and managers should take the time to cover or protect holes in the flooring immediately when they develop when construction begins. If work is being done on previously built structures, contractors will need to survey the location for these hazards and continue to keep an eye on them should problems arise. Covers for holes in the floor of a site need to be constructed so as to support at least twice the collective weight of any workers, vehicles, equipment, or materials which could be on top of it at any given moment. Additionally, guardrails, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest equipment can also aid in the prevention of severe injuries and fatalities caused by falls.
Supervisors should always construct scaffolding to the precise specifications provided by the manufacturer. Those exceeding 10ft in height will require workers to wear personal safety harnesses and the development of a guardrail system.
Protruding or Unguarded Rebar
All ends of steel rebars should be protected by caps or wooden troughs, so as to prevent the risk of impalement. Additionally, the ends of steel rebars can be bent so that they are not in an upright position. Those working at heights with exposed rebar underneath them should work with extreme caution and follow all appropriate fall prevention steps.
Every ladder used on the site should pass thorough inspection for cracks, breaks, or missing parts prior to each use. They should not be used in a way for which they were not intended to be used. Additionally, weight restrictions should always be strictly adhered to when using ladders in construction sites.
Workers’ Compensation – Third Party Litigation
Sadly, even if negligence can be proven on behalf of the company in their inability to protect their employees from risks and hazards that are foreseeable, workers are often restricted in their options for moving the case forward. Workers’ compensation offers immunity from litigation for employers who are able to provide insurance coverage for workers, with the purpose of allowing workers to have access to coverage for their medical expenses and lost wages throughout their rehabilitation. This additionally exists for the purpose of providing workers’ families with this coverage in the event of a fatality on the job site. However, such benefits are proven time and time again not to total enough in order to cover all expenses incurred during an injury.
Tennessee Construction Site Fall Accident Attorneys
In Tennessee construction site falls, our attorneys may evaluate the level of responsibility that a property owner, design professional, and/or manufacturers had. For those workers who have been injured in construction accidents and collect workers’ compensation, seeking litigation against a third party is still an option. Due to the potentially devastating effects that construction site falls can have on workers, it is critical for injured workers to get in touch with personal injury attorneys who have extensive qualifications and proven success.
Our attorneys always make sure that every viable resource is utilized and all potential options are explored in personal injury cases. Contact InjuryTN today to schedule your free initial case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer. You pay no costs or fees unless we win your case.