We have known for years that workplace falls are one of the biggest hazards on the job. They tend to cause more serious and fatal injuries than any other type of accident. They are worse in some occupations — like construction — than in others, but they are a risk almost everywhere.
And yet, even knowing this, falls keep happening. Many could be prevented with proper fall protection gear. Why is it that accidents won’t stop? Below are a few reasons:
1. Employees do not have the right gear
An employer needs to provide employees with proper fall protection gear. Even if they know there is a risk, they cannot work safely without the right equipment. Perhaps the simplest reason that falls continue to be a problem is just that they don’t get it.
2. Employees do not get the right training
Safety training has to happen for employees to learn how to work in the face of risk. Fall protection gear doesn’t help when they don’t know how to wear it or how to set it up. On top of that, safety training should be something companies do on a consistent basis, showing employees how important it is.
3. The company culture embraces the risk
In some cases, the workers themselves take on risks, perhaps because they’re competing with one another. In other cases, the company pushes the employees to take risks if it means they’re more productive. They feel pressured to embrace unsafe tactics.
4. Production is the only thing that matters
For many workers, production numbers matter more than anything else. When they go in for a review, their boss wants to see what they did, not whether or not they did it safely. This can encourage them to take risks, like not taking the time to put on the fall safety gear because they want to get the job done faster.
5. Workers overlook hazards
Some workers honestly do not know what risks they face. They overlook clear hazards. They don’t use safety equipment because they don’t realize they need it. Safety training has to focus on pointing out hazards so they can see them on their own.
6. Companies don’t invest in new equipment
A ladder should get replaced if it gets bent, rusted or broken. A harness should get replaced after a hard fall. Equipment wears out and becomes dangerous over time. Not all companies replace it, though, either because the owner does not realize it needs to get replaced or because he or she does not want to pay for it.
If you suffer an injury in a fall at work, you must know what legal options you have in Georgia. These injuries can change your life, and you may deserve compensation.