Falls from heights and elevated surfaces continue to be a driver in workers’ compensation costs across the United States. Now is the time for employers and other interested stakeholders to take a stand against falls. It will not only reduce workers’ compensation program costs but increase morale within the workplace.
A Case Study in Preventable Workplace Falls
Falls within the workplace continue to be the leading cause of workplace deaths despite improvements and availability of cost-effective safety equipment. This is mainly prevalent in the construction industry where workers engage in daily activities in a variety of settings and conditions. This includes smaller residential construction projects, which account for a disproportionally high number of catastrophic workers’ compensation claims. Preventing these incidents all starts with a proactive contractor dedicated to improving the safety on their job site.
Preventing falls from heights and elevated surfaces can be prevented by simple strategies:
- Advance planning that includes understanding the job site and unique conditions employees might face when performing their work activities;
- Making sure all employees and others on a construction site have the necessary safety equipment. This includes making sure the equipment is properly working and free from defect; and
- Providing the necessary training on how to correctly use the safety equipment used in the workplace. A surprising number of work injuries and deaths occur when this equipment is not correctly used by employees.
Communication is Key!
The first step in preventing falls in the workplace is communication. When it comes to workplace safety and a known safety risk, interested stakeholders can never communicate to its workforce enough. This communication must also be effective. Steps contractors can take should include: