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The OSHA standard that is most often violated

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets standards of safety for the construction industry and provides training courses to help companies institute and follow safe practices. Among all the many OSHA regulations, fall protection is the one that is the most ignored and violated. This is a serious oversight, as falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry.

Falls and what employers can do

Falls from a roof, scaffolding or a ladder happen frequently and cause the types of injuries that medical professionals are most likely to see, such as head trauma and broken bones. Many of these injuries are common but preventable, and employers can take steps to lessen the risk for their employees.

First, they should provide well-inspected ladders that are matched to employee weight, type of job and location. Depending on the task, proper accessories should be on hand to make ladder work safer. Employers should also be prepared to provide safer equipment, such as scaffolding or aerial lifts, for work at higher elevations.

MIOSHA safety concerns

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or MIOSHA, is also concerned with the subject of falls, pointing out that construction workers should be cognizant of hazardous conditions and the associated risks. However, the agency also emphasizes that employers must provide adequate training in accordance with the type of job in which a worker is employed to reduce risks, consequences and related costs.

Cutting back on injuries

Data from OSHA shows that 1 in 10 construction workers are injured annually. If OSHA standards concerning falls are followed and both OSHA and MIOSHA training are provided to workers, the number of falls can be reduced, along with severe injuries, the accompanying medical bills and workers' compensation claims against the companies for whom the injured parties work.

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