OSHA's fall protection standard is designed to protect iron workers at construction sites from injuries. It is a broad policy, encompassing many different types of structures. Some structures are exempt, such as tanks, electrical towers and broadcast towers. The OSHA standard is a national standard, so it is applied at construction sites in Oklahoma and in other states.
Understanding the OSHA fall policy is key for workers and employers who are endeavoring to promote workplace safety. Recognizing a fall hazard is an important first step. Many can be made safer by understanding manufacturers' instructions and developing company policies that meet or exceed OSHA requirements.
Personal fall arrest systems may be used to make construction sites safer. These types of systems must meet strict criteria, such as preventing a free fall of more than 6 feet to any lower level and limiting the arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds when using a body belt, or 1800 pounds when using a harness. The system must also be strong enough to withstand the force of an employee free falling 6 feet or the maximum distance allowed by the system, whichever is less.
Falls are some of the most common injuries at construction sites. A fall can lead to serious back, brain or spine injuries. After a construction site accident, injured victims may be eligible to apply for workers' compensation, which can help offset the costs of medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Many who are injured on the job choose to obtain the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney when assembling the documents that are required to be submitted with the claim.