The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal entity responsible for setting and enforcing protective standards for health and safety in the workplace, including fall protection – a set of standards and safety guidelines designed to prevent falls and fall injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of all investigations performed annually, the most common OSHA citation issued is related to fall protection. Employers are required to outfit both each employee and the workplace itself with safety protection and equipment, including fall protection. Unfortunately, many employers fail to meet even the most basic safety requirements year after year, resulting in hazardous work environments that put employees’ lives in jeopardy.
Industries With Significant Fall Protection Safety Issues
Depending on your occupation, you may be at a greater risk of suffering a fall injury than others. Historically, certain occupations and industries have a darker history of employee injury and death due to inadequate fall protection safeguarding. Year after year, employees continue to suffer due to employer negligence. For the workers who support Houston and the surrounding communities, numerous workplaces currently put employees’ lives at risk by failing to meet minimum safety standards.
The construction industry has a reputation for being dangerous due to the high volume of worker injuries and fatalities. These workplace dangers merit attention to the need for increased safety awareness, training, and implementation of routine equipment and/or machinery inspection and maintenance. OSHA dubbed several construction dangers as the now infamous ‘fatal four;’ these include falls and the related injuries and deaths. Precautions are always necessary when an employee may be working from an elevated height, exposed to heights, and/or working with heavy machinery or scaffolding while performing their job duties.
The energy industry employs thousands of workers who are expected to perform physically demanding labor as well as work with and handle heavy, complex equipment, and often at an elevated height. Workers at oil refineries, oil rigs, and energy plants perform duties daily that require serious safety practices and gear. Part of protecting these workers is safeguarding areas where they are exposed to potential falls, regardless of height. Additionally, any heavy machinery or equipment that could potentially hit or knock an employee over causing them to suffer fall injuries should be equipped with safeguards to prevent employees from suffering fall injuries.
Manufacturing and Industrial
Industrial and manufacturing industry workers are also at risk of sustaining fall injuries due to the job duties required. Oftentimes, workers are required to perform various tasks and duties at elevated heights, as well as use heavy machinery and equipment that subjects workers to a greater risk of falling. Industrial work continues to put workers’ lives at risk by failing to properly inspect, maintain, and educate workers on safety guidelines and dangers. Additionally, many industrial workplaces fail to provide appropriate machine safeguarding and personal protective gear.
Common Fall-related Injuries
Because of an employer’s negligence, thousands of employees are severely injured and killed annually on-the-job. Those who suffer severe injuries may consider themselves lucky compared to the high volume of deaths and paralyzing injuries sustained by fall victims. Common workplace fall injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken Bones/Fractures
- Deep Cuts or Lacerations
- Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, and Paralysis
Any of the above injuries is likely to cause an employee to incur high medical bills in combination with lost wages due to an inability to work, along with a whole host of other compensable damages.
Houston Work Accident Attorneys
Work accident victims and their loved ones understand firsthand the toll a work-related injury can have. Regardless of an employee’s occupation, every worker deserves the right to a safe workplace, free of immediate dangers. Additionally, all employees have the right to feel safe and protected while performing their jobs; and, no employee should fear reporting an employer’s negligence for fear of retaliation. Workers have legal rights and options. If you or a loved one was injured in a fall-related accident while on the job in Texas, you may be entitled to financial compensation. There is limited time to act following an accident in Texas, so don’t delaying contacting us to discuss your case.