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Three easy steps to prevent workplace falls

Workplace falls continue to be one of the leading causes of injury and death in many industries, including the construction industry. As such, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been running a fall prevention campaign.

It's very simple, but could prove effective. The three easy steps are:

1. Plan ahead.

What type of safety equipment needs to be used? What type of plan do workers have to complete the project? Exactly what steps have to be taken? Pausing to plan, rather than just charging ahead and figuring things out on the fly, can save lives.

2. Use proper equipment.

Many falls are avoidable because fall prevention equipment exists. Workers can use ropes, harnesses and other gear. Equipment like scaffolds and ladders can be inspected beforehand to make sure it's safe. Many accidents happen because people rush through and don't do inspections or use proper gear.

3. Give workers the training they need.

In some cases, workers fall even when they have safety gear because they were never trained properly. Employers just don't always take the time to do it, wanting to get to work right away. They assume that workers already know how to use the gear. This is a dangerous and often deadly assumption. Again, a little planning can go a long way.

Nothing takes more lives in the construction industry than falls, according to OSHA. That's the type of risk workers are facing daily, and that's just one industry. Those who are injured need to know their rights, especially if they never got safety gear or were never trained how to use it.

Source: OSHA, "Welcome to OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign," accessed Dec. 21, 2017

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