Falls are a common workplace injury, especially in workplaces such as factories, warehouses and construction sites. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists falls as one of the most common causes of workplace accidents. Workers can fall off platforms, elevated workstations or into holes. OSHA requires employers can take steps to prevent falls in the workplace.
OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection to workers working at four feet or above in general industry workplaces and six feet or above in construction industry. Also, OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection to those who must perform their job duties over dangerous equipment and machinery no matter how high they are.
Types of fall protection
OSHA outlines the types of fall protection employers must provide to prevent employee injuries. Employers must guard floor holes using a cover or toe-board and railings. If a worksite has elevated open sided platforms floors or runways, or if workers are performing job duties above dangerous machinery or equipment, then employers must provide guard rails and toe-boards. Depending on the circumstances, safety harnesses, nets, stair railings and handrails must also be provided.
An employer’s duty
Under OSHA regulations, employers have specific duties to employees to prevent fall injuries. Workplaces must be free from known dangers. Floors must be clean and dry. Personal protective equipment must be provided to employees, when necessary, at no cost to the employee. Finally, employees should be trained on job hazards. When employers follow OSHA regulations, employees in Pennsylvania can have a safe workplace where they are protected from falls.