Construction workers in New York take on unique risks every day when they go to work. According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2017, 366 workers fell from one level to another on a construction site and died. The department also believes that these falls could have been prevented and lives could have been saved. A campaign was implemented to help construction workers increase safety and protect from falls.
This campaign is designed to raise awareness with employers and workers about construction’s common fall hazards. Falls from roofs, scaffolds and heights are all too common in the industry. By planning, having the right equipment and training workers to use equipment safely, companies save money and workers avoid injury or even death.
The National Safety Council addresses the issue of planning in their official magazine. When work is being done from height, it is up to the employer to safely secure the area. Employers must plan and budget for the necessary tools, equipment and safety gear when they estimate the cost of the job.
Employers should also provide the appropriate equipment for fall protection. This may include scaffolds, ladders and safety gear to those who are working six feet or more over the level below. For example, a roof worker would need a harness to tie to an anchor. All systems should be fit properly to the worker and inspected regularly.
Once the plans and equipment are implemented, it is also necessary to train employees on the safe use of protection equipment and property setup. Ladders require three points of contact, scaffolds must be set up properly with stable footing. Additionally, before any equipment is used, someone competent should double check the scaffold before the worker uses it.
It is a team effort to keep employees safe on the job. Between the employer and the employee, the risk of injury can decrease.