Construction is the most dangerous industry in the state of Georgia. Every day, workers face considerable risks to their health and safety while on the job.
In 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited lack of fall protection as the most common safety standard violation in workplaces in America. Resolving this problem could save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of injuries each year.
The serious risk of falls at construction sites in GA
By the numbers, 381 construction workers died in falls from October 2017 to September 2018. Falls were the top cause of construction worker death, accounting for almost 40% of all fatalities in the industry. By comparison, the second-highest cause of death – struck-by object –accounted for just 8.2% of the total death toll.
The tasks the average construction worker has in Georgia innately pose a high risk of fall accidents and serious injuries. Working from roofs, scaffolds, platforms and ladders can easily lead to deadly falls in an unsafe work environment. It is an employer’s legal responsibility to prevent falls using equipment such as personal fall protection systems. Failure to do so, resulting in worker injury or death, could lead to workers’ compensation claims or lawsuits.
Negligence-related injuries and deaths in construction
Most construction worker injuries and fatalities are preventable and arise due to negligence. Standard 1926.501, the duty to have fall protection, is consistently the most commonly violated OSHA standard in construction. Fall protection is critical in preventing workers from falling off elevated platforms or for falling into holes or trenches.
It is not necessary for an injured construction worker to prove an employer’s fault during a workers’ compensation claim. As long as the injuries occurred during job-related tasks, the worker will almost always be eligible for workers’ comp. If the worker wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer, however, he or she will need evidence of negligence, such as a breached fall protection standard.