According to OSHA, falls are a leading cause of worker deaths in the construction industry. This hazard also exists in the Bakken oil field since many construction activities involve working at elevated heights. The reasons workers fall from elevation are varied. These include carelessness, complacency, lack of training, or lack of adequate fall protection.
A fall protection system, such as a guardrail, is required at heights of six feet or more. Heights of less than six feet may require protection when working above dangerous machinery or objects such as rebar. It's the responsibility of the employer to provide fall protection where it's needed.
Here are four safety tips for reducing your risk of a fall-related work accident:
Use Three-Point Contact
When climbing up scaffolding, ladders, or anything else, use three-point contact. This means either two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand must always contact a rung or other climbing surface at all times. The other hand or foot is either moving up or down to the next rung. This provides maximum stability.
Don't Carry Anything in Your Hands
This interferes with your three-point contact and increases your risk of a fall. In addition, the held object complicates your fall or may endanger someone below if it's dropped. Ask someone to hoist it up or down.
Stay off Scaffolding in Slippery Conditions
Do not use scaffolding covered with ice, snow, or mud, and exercise caution when it is wet because the planking may become slippery. A single slip can cause complete loss of control and possibly cause you to slide under a guardrail rung.
Watch for Ice When Exiting the Cab of a Truck
Falling while exiting a truck is a common occurrence because drivers enter and exit their trucks countless times. When driving in cold weather, the truck driver may exit without realizing the steps are iced-up. If the side mirrors appear iced, the steps will likely have ice as well. This also applies to entering and exiting from the cabs of heavy equipment.
If unsafe working conditions injured you in a work accident, the experienced lawyers at Odegaard Braukmann Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.