Falling from a height puts a person at risk of multiple injuries. Some common injuries caused by falls include broken bones and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). From lacerations to bruising, the risks associated with a long fall can be extensive.
The important thing to keep in mind is that employers should take time to address the risk of falls in the workplace. Falls are devastating to employees and put employers at risks of fines and other penalties.
What can you do to avoid falls in the workplace?
The first thing that you should make a priority is checking your equipment before you begin a job. For instance, if you’ll be on scaffolding, ensure that it is locked into place and secured. Check for rust or weakness in the beams.
The next thing you should do is check your fall prevention equipment. Whether you wear a belt or type of strap, it should not be damaged. You don’t want to use any kind of strapping with tears or signs of wear because it may not support your weight if you fall. Also check any carabiners that you use for weight limitations and make sure you use only those that will support your body weight when factoring in the impact force of a fall.
What can you do if you feel unsafe on the job?
The first thing to do is to talk to your employer about your concerns. Perhaps he or she doesn’t realize that a carabiner is bent or worn, or maybe the employer doesn’t realize that other equipment is damaged. By speaking up about your concerns, you have a better chance of having them addressed quickly.
If your employer will not enforce changes to make the workplace compliant with both state and federal regulations, you usually have the right to refuse to work. However, it is your employer’s right to move you into a position that avoids the hazard.
Workers have a right to work in a safe environment. If you are hurt on the job, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits or to sue directly if you are an independent contractor. You shouldn’t have to worry about your safety on the job. Employers need to take the lives of their employees seriously and prepare them for the job with proper equipment and training for the work they’ll do.