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3 ways to prevent falls in the construction industry

Many construction projects require workers to work from high places. Falls from these heights can be devastating. It is crucial that construction companies provide workers with the protections they need to help prevent falls on the construction site. It is equally as important for the workers to follow accepted and proven safety techniques as they work.

Use harnesses

One of the best ways for a construction worker to prevent a fall is to use a harness when working above ground level. The harness should be in good condition, properly anchored and the proper length. When you put the harness on, be sure that it fits properly. You shouldn't be able to just slip out of it. Instead, it should be able to hold you in if you do fall. You should check the anchor to be sure that it is securely attached. Check the length of the tether. It should be long enough to allow you to work freely but short enough to stop you from coming into the ground if you do fall.

Ladder safety

Climbing up and down ladders presents a big hazard. When working with ladders, you must be sure that it is angled and secured. The ladder should be placed on a firm surface or brace. It should extend at least three feet from the top of the roof or surface where you will be working. You should move supplies and tools to your work area using a hoist. Don't ever try to climb or descend the ladder with anything in your hands. Having your hands free allows you to firmly grasp the ladder with both hands as you go up and down. Some workers put convenience before safety, such as trying to carry tools up the ladder instead of finding a hoist, but this is a very dangerous method that you must never do.

Remove obstacles

Obstacles on the surface where you are working can be hazardous. Before you begin working, be sure that you have a clear workspace. As you work, clean up your area so that you don't introduce new hazards into the area while you work. Don't think about only large obstacles when you are checking your space. Even small items like sheets of paper or boxes could cause a slip hazard if you are busy working and don't notice it before you step on it. Slipping or tripping while you are working off the ground could be very dangerous, even if you have a harness on.

If you are a construction worker who was injured in a fall, you should consider your options for pursuing compensation, such as workers' compensation or a third-party claim.

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