Please take a moment and “stand-down” for fall safety in the workplace

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announces 6th annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down.

Man with ladder

OSHA has announced its partnership in the 6th annual National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down. This event is being held from May 6, 2019 through May 10, 2019. Employers and employees are asked to “pause voluntarily during the workday for safety demonstrations, training in hazard recognition and fall prevention, and talks about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.”

Anyone can participate and just having a “toolbox talk” about safety is a positive first step. We recommend checking out the OSHA website for other ways to participate in this important event.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows falls accounted for 366 of the 971 fatalities recorded in 2017. These deaths could have been prevented through hazard awareness, education, training, and safety equipment. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) also reported 38 workplace fatalities in 2018 and 18% were related to a fall.

Employees sometimes do not recognize the dangers involved with their jobs. It cannot happen to me is a common refrain. The truth is that falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Roofing is another very dangerous job that can result in permanent disability. Tree care workers are also at significant risk from falling. Coordinated events like the National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down are critically important.

We have seen this danger firsthand with our own workers’ compensation clients and want to help raise awareness about this important issue. Our experience shows that some bad employers go out of their way to ignore safety rules and regulations. Safety equipment that could saves lives is not used or nonexistent.

We represented an individual who fell off a roof and suffered paralysis of his lower extremities. This was his first day on the job and he was not properly trained. His employer was accused of committing premium fraud, so the insurance carrier would not pay workers’ compensation benefits. He had no income whatsoever and medical bills piled up. It took a lawsuit against the general contractor to obtain financial compensation through a settlement. No amount of money can every compensate him for this situation.

Another client fell off a scaffold while doing construction work. He fractured both of his feet and was in a nursing home for three months. His employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance and he has received no payment to date.

More needs to be done to protect employees hurt on-the-job. We are seeing employers ignore their responsibilities and not even purchase mandatory workers’ compensation insurance. Medical bills and lost wages are supposed to be covered when an employee gets hurt at work.

Employees should also be educated on filing MIOSHA complaints about safety and health hazards in the workplace. Employees can request their names not be revealed so complaints remain anonymous. These complaints are taken seriously and will be investigated.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Who can collect workers’ compensation after a work-related death?

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