Four tips for avoiding falls on California construction sites

Not all slip, trip and fall accidents may be prevented on California construction sites, but there are things workers can do to help improve their safety.

Due to the nature of the work and their working environments, construction workers in California and elsewhere face a number of hazards on the job, including falls. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that slips, trips and falls accounted for 38.8 percent of the occupational fatalities in the construction industry in 2015. While not all of these types of workplace accidents may be prevented, there are several things employees can do that may help improve their safety.

Plan the work before starting

The tasks that construction workers may be asked to perform over the course of an average work day may be complex and involve multiple steps. Thus, it is advisable for people to plan what they are going to do before they get started. Looking at what they must get done and what it entails may help employees assess the tools and safety equipment they will need. Not only does this help increase productivity, the less chance there is for surprises, the less chance there is of a workplace accident occurring, which may result in serious injuries or death.

Use the appropriate equipment

In addition to the variety of tools they may use on the job, construction workers may also use a range of equipment. While it may be tempting to use what is convenient or what works, it is suggested that people always use the appropriate gear. This may help make sure the job is done right, as well as avoid accidents that may result in serious injuries or death.

Be aware of ground elevation changes

It is common to find changes in ground elevations and surfaces, debris, cords, tools and other equipment throughout construction sites. If they are not mindful of these types of hazards, workers could easily slip, trip or fall. Therefore, people are advised to watch where they are walking and working on construction sites. Additionally, they should keep their work areas as clean and clear as possible.

Inspect all equipment before using

The harnesses and other equipment that construction workers depend on for their safety may wear over time. This may affect the integrity of these tools, and thus, their effectiveness. As such, it is recommended for employees to check their personal gear and any common equipment before each use. Conducting regular inspections may help workers catch problems before they may contribute to a fall or fail to protect them in the event of one.

Working with an attorney

When California construction workers are injured on the job, they may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, the process of obtaining this type of medical coverage and wage replacement is not always cut and dry. Therefore, those who have suffered occupational injuries while working on construction sites may benefit from seeking legal guidance. A lawyer may explain their rights, as well as guide them through the claims and, if necessary, appellate processes.