The Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) is investigating the death of a gutter installer who suffered fatal blunt force injuries from a ladder fall. Sadly, this type of accident is common in the workplace, especially in the construction industry. Gutter installers, roofers, and others who work on roofs are at high risk of sustaining fall from heights injuries. Some of the most common reasons for work accidents involving ladders include lack of the following:
Job Hazard Analysis
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages employers to conduct a job hazard analysis of their workplace. A job hazard analysis can be completed by supervisors and foremen, with the assistance of employees. It involves identifying hazards in order to eliminate and prevent them by implementing the proper safety procedures. If employers are not aware (and do not make employees aware) of the job hazards, there is a greater risk of injury because those hazards are not being removed, mitigated, or safeguarded against.
When employers do not properly train employees on both the hazards of working from heights and the safety precautions to take in order to prevent injury, there is a greater risk of fatal falls in the workplace. According to OSHA rules and guidelines, employers should provide employees with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and train them on how to use it. However, failure to conduct and document the completion of fall protection training remains one of the most common OSHA violations year after year.
OSHA requires that employers help protect employees when working at heights. Falls from heights is one of the most common causes of construction worker fatalities and the cause of approximately 200 worker deaths per year. Fall protection such as a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) should be provided for those working at heights above six feet. Employers must also train workers on how to inspect, adjust, and safety use such equipment.
Fall accidents often happen because ladders are placed on wobbly surfaces or uneven ground. It is imperative to choose the right ladder for the job, considering factors such as the pitch of the roof, the type of ladder, and how much weight must be supported. Ladders should be anchored so they do not slide around and extensions should be securely fastened. It is also important to ensure that the ladder is secure before ascending or descending.
Health and Safety Programs
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that employers implement health and safety programs to combat the opioid crisis and maintain healthy work environments. OSHA provides sample fall protection plans, along with recommended practices. Employers may also take advantage of the Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS), a mobile app designed to assist primary contractors, construction site foremen, and gutter installation contractors in identifying workplace hazards and implementing the necessary control measures.
Philadelphia Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Gutter Installers Recover Compensation for Their Injuries
If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a fall accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our experienced attorneys can help you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled, including coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits. We represent clients in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
Our experienced attorneys represent clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including those in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, and in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.