Texas Fall Protection Lawyer
Houston Fall Protection Attorneys
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. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-298-0111.
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 2018 according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 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. (388 in 2018 per OSHA) 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.
Do Employers Have a Duty to Provide Fall Protection to Employees?
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.
Does OSHA Require a Specific Type of Fall Protection?
In some situations, OSHA specifically details what type of 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
- personal fall arrest systems
- self-retracting lifelines
- safety nets
- skylight guards
- warning signs
In addition to providing employees with the right safety equipment for the job, employers must provide training to the employee on the proper use of the equipment. Visit our failure to properly train 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 our 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 to require safety equipment inspections, he is not providing you with a safe workplace.
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 work injury caused by negligent employers who fail to provide their people with fall protection and worker’s compensation protection. Call us today for a free consultation to learn your rights.