Can Proper Safety Equipment Prevent Construction Slip-And-Fall Injuries?

Unfortunately, slip-and-fall injuries are not only painful but sadly common on construction sites. Victims often face long periods where they are unable to work, jeopardizing their family’s finances.

In many cases, construction sites would be safer with proper safety equipment, which can prevent these types of accidents and the resulting injuries.

Types of Equipment Which Can Prevent Accidents

While safety equipment alone may not prevent all accidents, it could undoubtedly be useful in preventing some of the more than 25 fatalities resulting from slip-and-fall injuries in Pennsylvania in one recent year. Some of the various types of equipment which could make construction sites safer include:

  • Non-slip footwear: Construction sites nearly always have some use of liquids, including paint and thinners. These compounds can create slick spots at construction sites, and encouraging those working to wear non-slip footwear may help reduce the number of accidents.
  • Safety harnesses: Slip-and-fall accidents can cause workers to fall from heights. Safety harnesses can help stop a fall from a scaffolding or another level at the construction site, which can help minimize the injury a worker suffers.
  • Guardrails: Having proper railings at different levels of a construction site allows workers to use these guardrails to help stabilize themselves when carrying tools or equipment. While guardrails may not prevent all accidents or injuries, they may help prevent some.
  • Safety netting: When workers are dealing with multi-floor projects, safety netting may not only help prevent serious injuries due to slip-and-fall accidents but may also help prevent other types of accidents.
  • Anti-slip coating: Whenever feasible, floors, stairs, and other walking surfaces can be treated with anti-slip coatings to help prevent accidents.
  • Warning signs and cones: One of the easiest ways to help prevent slip-and-fall accidents is to ensure there are warning signs and cones notifying employees and others on the job site that a hazard exists.

These are just a few of the ways to make a construction site safer for those employed or visiting a site. There are steps that can be taken to prevent falls at construction sites.

Slip-And-Fall Statistics at Construction Sites

The number of injuries and illnesses tied to trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accidents on construction sites should give all workers and their employers pause. Overall, 31.4 out of every 10,000 full-time workers will suffer an injury in a single year. Some of the potential outcomes of a slip-and-fall accident include:

  • Persistent pain: Broken bones, tears in the tendons or ligaments, or nerve damage can result from a slip-and-fall accident on a construction site. Unfortunately, the pain may persist long after the injury has healed, leaving victims to experience chronic pain.
  • Reduced mobility: Broken bones can occur as a result of a slip-and-fall accident. These injuries can result in reduced or lost mobility if the injury is serious. Unfortunately, the outcome of reduced mobility may impact the victim’s ability to return to their job.
  • Traumatic brain injury: Slip-and-fall accidents are one cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Sadly, victims may suffer life-altering changes due to a TBI.
  • Paralysis: Another life-changing outcome of a slip-and-fall injury is paralysis. Victims could injure their necks or backs during a slip-and-fall accident. These falls can injure the spinal cord or vertebrae resulting in permanent disability.

Any injury suffered during a slip-and-fall accident has the potential to disrupt a victim’s life for weeks. Some of the more serious injuries could have life-long consequences.

Workplace Hazards Are Not Uncommon

Slip-and-fall accidents on construction sites happen too frequently for employers not to take the threat to their employees seriously. The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific guidelines in place for safety from falls in the workplace.

Every worker deserves to feel safe in the workplace, and a number of steps can be taken to help make construction sites safer, including making sure everyone on the site has an understanding of the safe handling of materials, ensuring items are not left in walkways and passages, and making sure that employees are using the proper safety equipment.

When a Worker Is Injured in a Slip-And-Fall Accident on a Construction Site

Anyone who has suffered an injury because of a slip-and-fall accident has a right to make sure they do not have to suffer the financial losses they may suffer due to their injury. Claims may be filed for lost income, medical expenses, and other financial losses they suffer.

In Pennsylvania, accident victims have two years to file a claim for their injury. This period of time may be extended in certain situations. Working with a personal injury lawyer immediately after seeking medical care is the best way to preserve a victim’s rights.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C

Anyone who suffers an accident on a construction site that results in an injury should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer. The sooner an attorney is contacted, the better they can help advise victims of their legal rights and options. Proper safety equipment at construction sites may not prevent all accidents, but it can minimize the potential for accidents.

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our lawyers have over six decades of combined experience handling personal injury claims. Our firm has a proven record of success and will do everything possible to help anyone who has suffered an injury as a result of a construction site slip-and-fall accident. Victims may contact us at (215) 822-7575 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.