The construction sector is fraught with possible dangers, but few can cause such serious injuries as a fall. The United States Department of Labor notes that all employers who work in this field have a duty to protect their employees from falls, no matter the size of the project, and safeguard them from traumatic injuries.
Those planning to join the construction field may want to make themselves familiar with these laws so they can protect themselves and ensure that their employers are providing proper fall safeguards.
Construction employers must provide all their workers with stable, strong walking surfaces while building a structure. Surfaces must properly bear the weight of all employees who use them and remain sound during the length of the project to lower the risk of falls.
Safety nets and guardrails
Employees who travel surface edges with a distance of six feet or more off the ground or to a lower level must have protection from falls with the use of safety nets and guardrails. The use of safety harnesses and other protective equipment is also an acceptable form of preventing falls. This law also applies to hoisting areas.
Fall injuries occur when employees fall through holes into another level or an underground project, such as a plunge through an open manhole. Employers must protect their workers from such incidents by using tarps, guardrails and other equipment that alerts employees to the presence of a hole that may present a fall risk.
Dangerous equipment protection
Construction equipment can seriously injure employees if it falls from a higher construction level. Employers must provide equipment guards and guardrail systems to prevent such incidents.
Barricades and guardrails around excavation sites can also protect construction workers from serious falls. Employees may want to review individual sites to ensure employers have these fall protection laws in place.