BROWARD, Florida. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 261,930 people missed days from work due to slip and fall injuries and another 798 died as a result of falls on the job. While construction workers were most at risk of slip and fall injuries, healthcare support workers, building maintenance workers, transportation workers, and extraction workers were also at risk of slip and fall injuries at the workplace. These falls cost workers, worker’s compensation, and employers an estimated $70 billion each year.
In an effort to reduce workplace slip and falls, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has updated its Walking-Working Surfaces standards. The new standards came into effect on January 17 of this year and impact 112 million workers working at seven million places of work.
What changes has the OHSA put in place? According to the OHSA, one of the major changes employees may see are changes that allow employers to select the kind of fall prevention system that best suits their needs. For instance, personal protection systems have been permitted in construction and these systems may now be used in wider industries. The new standards require employees to train their workers on personal fall protection systems and fall equipment, and permit workers to use ropes to descend from heights up to 300 feet.
By May 17, workers should have received training on fall hazards if they use fall protection equipment. By November, employers must have rope descent systems inspected and certified. The new laws also replace outdated fall safety standards with newer standards that meet industry needs while also protecting workers.
However, some wonder whether workplaces have the time to bring themselves into compliance. If you or a loved one works with heights or faces significant fall risk, now may be the time to ask your employer or your loved one’s employer what measures have been taken to comply with the new laws. Slip and fall injuries can have an immense impact on workers and their families, leading to missed days at work, disability, and medical costs. The OHSA hopes that the new rules will prevent 29 fatalities and reduce 5,842 injuries each year.
Yet, in some cases where workers suffer slip and falls, it is because workplaces failed to meet basic safety standards or failed to update their safety procedures. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall accident, you may be facing medical expenses, disability, time away from work, and other challenges. Contact the Madalon law firm, personal injury lawyers in Broward, Florida today to learn more about your options and rights. Our firm can help workers seek compensation through worker’s compensation, or through a lawsuit if a third party was involved. In some cases, individuals suffer slip and falls in nursing homes, hospitals, or on another person’s property. The Madalon law firm are slip and fall lawyers in Broward, Florida who work with individuals who have survived injuries ranging from auto accidents to workplace accidents.