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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Preventing falls in Georgia workplaces

While some jobs are more dangerous for Georgia employees, many construction workers are at risk for falls. However, employees who are required to walk on surfaces that are uneven or slippery, use ladders or work at a height of at least six feet above the ground may be more at risk than others.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all employers are responsible for providing some sort of fall protection based on the risks. For example, if an employee is required to work on a surface that has a side or edge that is next to a drop height that is considered dangerous by OSHA, the employer must provide appropriate protection. In some cases, this may mean a guardrail system, a safety net or a fall arrest system, in addition to proper training. Employers are responsible for choosing the fall protection system that is most appropriate for the specific situation.

Employees who are required to use ladders on a regular basis are also at risk for suffering a fall, especially if the ladders are portable. Employees may lose their balance and slip or the ladder may be unsteady, causing the person to fall. Due to the fall risks, employers are responsible for ensuring that the ladders are properly maintained and have no broken parts. Additionally, employers are responsible to ensure that the provided ladders are stable, can support the required weight and have a rigid support system.

Most employers do their best to ensure that their employees remain safe while they work. However, accidents that result in injuries do happen. An attorney who has experience in workers' compensation matters can help such an injured worker file a claim for benefits.

Source: OSHA, "Preventing Falls", November 12, 2014

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