The Law Office of Michael J. Joshi
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The less obvious fall hazards are often overlooked

If you work in an industry in Kansas City in which you frequently risk your life by working at elevated levels, you might not realize that fall arrest systems and guardrails are only some of the necessary safety precautions. It might be a good idea to take note of some additional hazards and steps that you can choose to stay safe. If you become familiar with the potential risks while working at heights, you can take responsibility for your own safety.

Falls make up a significant percentage of workplace fatalities across all industries, and those who do not rely solely on their employers to protect them may have better chances of avoiding serious or even deadly falls. This will require alertness and looking further than the obvious dangers.

Less apparent fall hazards

A large, gaping hole in the work surface will stand out as an obvious hazard. However, a skylight covered in glass or Perspex might seem perfectly safe, and ladders are often not identified as fall hazards.

Ladders

You might not regard ladders as fall hazards, but a fall from a ladder could have devastating consequences. Safety data shows that more than eight in 10 reported fall injuries involve falls from ladders, and ladders feature in 43% of all fatal falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict guidelines related to the height and angle at which to place ladders. Furthermore, carrying tools and building material when you climb up or down a ladder could increase the fall risks.

Skylights

Because covered skylights seem safe, workers often sit or step on them, and some even lean against them. Keep in mind that skylight covers keep snow, rain, debris and small animals out, but they are typically not strong enough to support the weight of a worker without breaking. Becoming familiar with the OSHA safety standards can help you to identify such hazards.

Faulty fall arrest equipment

Fall arrest systems are worth nothing if you do not learn the correct way in which to use it. It is crucial that you thoroughly inspect all parts of your equipment every time before you use them. The following parts can become worn or damaged and can change your life-saving device into a life-threatening device:

  • Lifelines
  • Personal shock absorbers
  • Lanyards, including snap hooks, rope and webbing
  • Carabiners
  • Full body harness, including D-rings, webbing and buckles
  • Anchors

Even if only one of these parts shows wear, you will risk your life using it.

Fall rescue

If you fall and become suspended, your safety will be in the hands of rescuers, and you would want them to understand the risks posed by suspension trauma.

Conducting a speedy and safe rescue might be the most crucial part of reducing adverse consequences. According to studies, your safety might be at risk within minutes if you are not brought to safety. This is because the hanging position will prevent normal blood circulation, which can cause your death in the blink of an eye.

Workers' compensation

If you fall victim to a fall-related accident at your workplace in Kansas City, you will likely be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney with experience in this field of the law can provide invaluable support and guidance in pursuit of compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Additional benefits would likely come into play if your injuries caused permanent disability.

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