Construction employers in South Carolina are likely aware that falls from elevated surfaces are a frequent cause of injury in this field. Over the past five years, Nationwide Insurance has processed over 10,000 workers’ compensation claims among construction companies, and 30 percent of them involved falls.
This was part of the reason why Nationwide joined several other organizations in supporting the OSHA Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. From May 7 to 11, construction companies across the U.S. shut down operations in order to train employees and raise their awareness of hazards in the workplace. Nationwide has stated that these stand-downs can be a great way for employers to show workers that their safety matters. It can also help ease workers into ongoing safety training.
With training, employers must be ready to cover several factors in fall injuries. They should ensure that employees know the safety guidelines concerning protective gear like guardrails. They should also train employees on the use and inspection of mobile lifts and scaffolds. Another important step is to minimize the use of A-frame ladders; podium stepladders are safer. Rather than having employees lift materials on their own, employers should provide training on use of ropes, pulleys and block and tackle.
Neglecting training will increase the risk for worker injuries. Victims will want to weigh their options when it comes to receiving compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages. Falls can injure multiple parts of the body and lead to extended disability leave, so all of this must be taken into account. If the employer was negligent, victims might consider a personal injury claim. If not, they may choose to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Lawyers may be able to show that the accident took place at work and strive for a fair amount from the insurer.