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NIOSH fact sheet may help prevent falls in construction

Pennsylvania construction workers have a dangerous job. On average, more than 300 construction workers across the U.S. die in falls each year, and over 10,000 incur fall-related injuries. This makes falls the leading cause of death among construction workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of fatal falls from scaffolding (86%), ladders (85%) and ladders (57%) arise in the construction industry.

In the effort to help construction employers and workers prevent falls on the job, NIOSH has released a fact sheet full of recommendations. One important recommendation is for employers to create a fall protection program when doing roof work. Employees should be given the proper fall protection equipment. Employers must provide training and have employees use the buddy system. The anchorage used for fall arrest systems should be the correct one.

Before using a ladder, employees should make sure it is the right one for the job. The ladder should never be overloaded, and it should stand on level ground. Workers should be taught to always face the ladder when climbing up and down and to always maintain three points of contact. As for scaffolding, a competent person should be assigned as supervisor during the set-up and as inspector each time before it is used. The scaffold should meet both manufacturer guidelines and OSHA standards. Scaffolds must also be on stable surfaces.

Most construction workers who are injured on the job are entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance coverage. They might find it advisable to have the assistance of an attorney so as to help ensure that the claim contains all required documentation and that it is filed on a timely basis.

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