As construction in Iowa increases, falls continue to be the leading cause of death and injury for workers. Determined to reduce the number of preventable deaths, OSHA will hold its annual National Safety Stand-Down from May 2-6 to help employers, unions and workers nationwide to understand and implement fall safety protection to avoid serious injuries and fatalities.
Many injuries occur when workers fall from raised elevations such as rooftops, ladders or scaffolds. Among the recommendations to prevent falls from rooftops are proper use of harnesses, installation of guard covers for holes or sunlights, guard rails, lifelines and frequent inspection of fall protection equipment. When using ladders, workers should secure the ladder on a level footing and avoid standing on the top rung, overreaching or facing away from the ladder. As for scaffolds, workers should never use a ladder on top of a scaffold or stand or climb on guard rails or cross-braces. Scaffolds should be fully planked, plumb and level on stable footing with all guardrails assembled. Routine inspections of scaffolds should be carried out before allowing proper access.
Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Workers have a right to a safe workplace and the law requires employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthful place of employment. Unsafe conditions should not be tolerated and, to this end, the OSHA law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for raising a health or safety concern or to report an injury. If you or a family member has been injured in a construction site accident, contact the workers’ compensation Law Offices of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for help.