Houston Fall Protection Attorneys
Our fall protection lawyers are here for injured victims. Houston and Katy area workers are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or even killed in on-the-job accidents because of our expansive oil and gas and petrochemical industry. Accidents such as these not only harm the individual but can also cause long-term emotional and financial hardships which can affect an entire family. Therefore, you must have powerful, experienced, and reliable representation by a fall protection lawyer if you and your family are facing such a difficult situation. We are committed to serving all of the interrelated needs of our clients when they are dealing with the aftermath of an injury at work that is caused by an employer who fails to provide worker’s compensation coverage or caused by someone other than your employer. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-298-0111. We charge you no attorney fees not our expenses unless we make a recovery for you.
Do Employers Have a Duty to Provide Fall Protection to Employees?
Yes. Federal OSHA laws require all employers to evaluate fall hazards and provide fall protection where appropriate. Employers are required to assess the workplace to determine if the walking/working surfaces on which employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to safely support workers. Employees should not be permitted to work on those surfaces until it has been determined that the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity to support the workers. Once employers have determined that the surface is safe for employees to work on, the employer must provide the appropriate type of fall protection if a fall hazard is present. Any employee observing an employer ignoring the OSHA rules should report OSHA violations promptly.
Fall Protection FAQ
What is the Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violation?
Failure to provide adequate fall protection in the construction industry was the #1 most-cited violation in 2019 according to the U.S. Department of Labor. OHSA statistics.
Unfortunately, despite strict regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), several hundred falls still occur on construction sites every year in the United States. Under OSHA rules, fall protection is required for height differences of only four feet in general industry, six feet on construction sites, and five feet under maritime law.
Does OSHA Require a Specific Type of Fall Protection?
In some situations, OSHA specifically details what type of fall protection must be provided by the employer. In other situations, the regulations require fall protection but leave the type of protection to be used up to the employer. This is because several fall protection options may work better depending on the specific situation.
Acceptable Types of Fall Protection May Include:
- aerial lifts
- gangways and roof walks
- industrial safety gates
- industrial safety nets
- personal fall arrest systems
- self-retracting lifelines
- skylight guards
In addition to providing employees with the right safety equipment for the job, employers must provide training to the employees on the proper use of the equipment. Visit our Inadequate Training Injury page for more details on this type of injury.
Must Employers Inspect Fall Protection?
Fall protection equipment does not last forever. In jobs where fall protection is required, the equipment must be inspected and tested regularly to ensure that it has not worn out or been misused. Worn-out belts and straps (as seen in the photo to the left) can result in a safety system failure. Safety equipment failure can have tragic consequences.
All approved safety equipment should have instructions accompanying it regarding the proper use and life span of the equipment. Failure to follow these instructions by the employer is negligence. If the equipment you have been provided does not have these instructions, don’t use it.
It is also crucial that your employer has in place a regular inspection schedule and set of rules to make sure the equipment is in good working order. Training to make sure the safety harnesses and devices are properly attached and used is also a must. If your employer fails to provide training and fails to require regular safety equipment inspections, he is not providing you with a safe workplace that protects you from falls from heights adequately.
What Kinds of Warning Signs Are Used for Fall Protection?
OSHA has three classifications of warning signs: caution signs, danger signs, and safety instruction signs. Their uses are defined as follows:
- Caution signs. 29 CFR 1910.145(c)(2). “Caution signs shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.” 29 CFR 1910.145(c)(2)(i)
- Danger signs. 29 CFR 1910.145(c)(1). “There shall be no variation in the type of design of signs posted to warn of specific dangers and radiation hazards.” 29 CFR 1910.145(c)(1)(i)
- Safety instruction signs. “Safety instruction signs shall be used where there is a need for general instructions and suggestions relative to safety measures.” 29 CFR 1910.145(c)(3)
OSHA also requires that all employees be instructed on the specific dangers and necessary precautions that caution and danger signs are used to identify. The rest of 29 CFR 1910.145 outlines the requirements for the application, design, and wording of warning signs. There are many warning sign manufacturers who create and distribute signs that meet OSHA’s mandated requirements.
Injuries From Falls From Heights
The injuries that result in falls from heights are some of the worst injuries we see. Victims often suffer severe and catastrophic injuries from these accidents and falls. These injuries may include:
Lawyer for Fall Victims
Our fall protection lawyers at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. help victims recover from a work injury caused by negligent employers who fail to provide their people with fall protection and worker’s compensation protection. If you have lost a loved one due to a fall from heights while on the job, call a personal injury attorney in Houston, TX today for a free consultation to learn your rights at 1-800-298-0111. We charge you no attorney fees and no attorney expenses unless we make a recovery.