OSHA accident prevention
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor that seeks to assure healthful and safe working conditions for workers by creating and enforcing standards and by providing education, assistance, outreach, and training. OSHA is particularly important for construction employees. In addition to setting workplace standards, it trains employers on how to maintain the safety and health of their employees. The primary aim of OHSA is the prevention of workplace deaths and injuries by providing education to employers about the hazards of the workplace. A major workplace hazard in the construction industry is falling. In this article, we discuss the role of OSHA in preventing construction falls in New York. 

The Importance of Fall Protection

Falls are one of the most common causes of serious injuries on construction sites. Therefore, it is important (and required by law) for employers to take steps to prevent employees from falling off of elevated workstations, off of overhead platforms, or into holes while on the job.

OSHA Steps to Prevent Falls

As noted above, OSHA requires employers to take steps to prevent employee falls on construction sites. Specifically, OSHA requires fall protection to be provided to employees at elevations of at least:

  • Four feet in general industry workplaces,
  • Five feet in shipyards, 
  • Six feet in the construction industry and 
  • Eight feet in long shoring operations. 

In addition, OSHA requires employers to provide employees with fall protection when they are working over dangerous machinery and equipment, regardless of the height. To prevent employee falls, employers must also:

  • Guard each hole in the floor into which a worker can accidentally fall by using a floor hole cover or toe-board.
  • Provide a toe-board and guard rail around each elevated, open-sided platform, runway, or floor.
  • Regardless of height, provide guardrails and toe-boards over dangerous machines and equipment, such as conveyor belts and vats of acid.
  • Provide safety lines and harnesses, hand rails, stair railings, and safety nets for certain types of jobs. 

Additional OSHA Requirements

In addition to requiring employers to take specific steps to prevent falls on construction sites in New York, OSHA requires employers to take the following steps to improve worker safety: 

  • Provide personal protective equipment to workers at no cost. 
  • Provide employees with working conditions that are free of reasonably known dangers.
  • Keep all floors and walking surfaces in work areas clean and dry.
  • Train all employees on the hazards of the job in a language that they can understand.  

Contact a Long Island Construction Accident Lawyer 

If you’ve been in a construction accident in the state of New York, the experienced attorneys of Dell & Dean, PLLC, are here for you. When you seek our help in your construction accident case, we’ll review the facts of your case, formulate a strategy, and aggressively pursue financial compensation on your behalf. Please contact us as soon as possible to arrange a consultation with a construction accident lawyer

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.