The dangers facing construction workers are serious. One type of accident that might occur is especially troubling — falls from considerable heights. Falling from even the top of a shorter ladder can lead to serious injuries. Employers must ensure that workers have what they need to stay safe and to minimize the risk of falls. Construction workers should know these five points about falls.
#1: Scaffolding laws protect workers
New York provides workers with a special set of protections for scaffolding. New York Labor Law Section 240 holds employers accountable for scaffolding injuries using absolute liability. This means that is is difficult for employers to defend against claims regarding scaffolding injuries. It also means that people who aren’t employees of the contractor responsible for the work site can also seek compensation if they suffer an injury from scaffolding.
#2: Fall protections are crucial
Fall protections, including harnesses are imperative for construction workers. Workers should have hardhats and other safety gear that can help to minimize the injuries they might suffer if they fall. When a worker suffers an injury in a fall or another construction accident, the safety measures in place will likely come into the picture.
#3: Training and inspections are imperative
Employers must ensure employees receive training on how to prevent falls. This includes training employees how to inspect scaffolding and other equipment to ensure nothing is damaged or worn out. Any equipment that isn’t in good shape or that has noticeable defects during an inspection should be taken out of service until it is repaired. If repair isn’t possible, it must be replaced.
#4: Workers’ compensation might be appropriate
Workers’ compensation coverage helps to ensure employees can get the medical care they need. This coverage can also provide the injured worker with wage replacement as set amounts. Workers aren’t going to receive full wage replacement. Other benefits are also possible. Workers who file a claim must carefully review the benefits statement they receive when the claim is approved. Appealing the decision if the benefits aren’t correct or if the claim is denied is possible.
#5: Third-party claims might be possible
The circumstances of a construction accident might make an employee consider filing a third-party claim. For example, if the scaffolding is defective and the defect causes a fall, the worker who suffers an injury might seek compensation from the scaffolding manufacturer. This is also possible in some other accidents, including those involving defective tools or defective safety equipment.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001