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What is “Fall Protection” and why is it so important?


What is “Fall Protection” and why is it so important?

Frequently Asked Questions

The leading cause of worker fatalities in construction work is from falls. In addition to the over 100 deaths per year caused by falls thousands more construction workers are injured each year by them, according to OSHA statistics. Therefore, the issues of fall protection and training are often large issues in construction site accident litigation.


Common Types Of Fall Protection


The type of fall protection that must be utilized in certain construction situations is highly regulated by OSHA, and the number of regulations can seem staggering. Each of these regulations applies to a specific type of construction situation, and not to others, and often there are exceptions and gray areas which require a high level of expertise in workplace safety to properly interpret and implement. That is why an experienced construction site accident attorney should be consulted if you or a loved one were injured during a fall at a construction site.


However, here are some of the main types of fall protection often utilized on construction sites, for both commercial and residential construction, to protect workers from injuries from falls:


  • Guardrail systems
  • Safety net systems
  • Personal fall arrest systems
  • Warning line systems
  • Safety monitoring systems
  • Controlled access zones


If appropriate fall protection systems were not used or not properly constructed or installed on the construction site and a worker is injured or killed from a fall liability may ensue.


Workers Need To Be Properly Trained In Fall Protection


Not only do OSHA regulations require the use of certain types of fall protection in various situations on the construction site, but in addition these regulations require proper training for workers. Specifically, the regulations require that employers “train workers in the proper selection, use and maintenance of fall protection systems.” 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M.


The failure to properly train workers can lead to disastrous results, including injury or death. This means that the issue of training also plays an important role in many construction site accident cases involving falls. Experienced attorneys can help determine whether proper and adequate fall protection training was actually done at the construction site, including the proper written certifications of that training which are required by OSHA regulations.


Starr Austen and Miller, construction accident lawyers in Indiana, focuses on representing individuals and their family members in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, such as those often involved in construction site accidents. If you or a loved one have been harmed in a construction site accident,  contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.


[Source: 5 Fall Protection Myths: Clear Up Construction Industry Misconceptions, by Mark Stromme]

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by James Austen, Partner

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