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Reducing fall injuries in construction

Employees in Illinois might be interested in learning more about how to reduce falls in residential construction involving the erection of interior and exterior walls. Workers may be exposed to more risks when the structure being erected is multiple stories high. Windows, other openings in the wall and openings in the floor may act as potential safety hazards for employees involved in this type of work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide training programs for workers who may be exposed to some of these fall-accident hazards. The training must teach workers who to identify and minimize potential safety hazards at the job-site. Companies are also required to evaluate these types of hazards and to make efforts to minimize the risks they present. Being able to access and use the proper protection equipment may be an effective preventative measure employees can use to reduce falling injuries at the workplace.

Opportunities for reducing these types of risks improve when employees are planning construction, lifting the walls into place or assembling the walls. Including the use of protection equipment in the construction plans may prove to be essential in avoiding a fall accident from occurring. Using the right lift equipment to raise walls may also be effective in reducing these workplace injuries from occurring. Other equipment that can be effective in reducing falling injuries include guardrails, scaffolds and fall restraints.

Most workers who are injured in these types of construction accidents are eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney can be of assistance during the filing process and can provide representation at a subsequent hearing should the employer or its insurance carrier dispute or deny the claim.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Reducing Falls during Residential Construction: Erecting Exterior and Interior Walls", accessed on March 24, 2015

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