Construction jobs remain one of the most dangerous professions in North Carolina, with falls as the leading cause of occupational injuries. You navigate expected risks regularly, but that doesn’t mean you should accept increased danger due to a lack of safety measures.
Your employer should actively seek ways to ensure your and other workers’ safety. Otherwise, they could be compromising your health and security.
How a lack of fall protection puts employees at risk
Working from various heights is inherently risky but a daily reality that construction workers such as yourself face. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to implement fall protection for work done at specific heights or above dangerous equipment and machinery.
Neglecting fall protection could turn a routine task into a life-threatening situation. Insufficient or broken railings or missing toe-boards could cause workers to fall into dangerous machines or dangerous heights. Such unfortunate accidents could result in serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and long-term disabilities.
Beyond the financial and physical burdens, the harrowing experience can inflict emotional distress, potentially causing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression.
A work injury can impair your ability to return to work and decrease your quality of life. It is, therefore, crucial for employers to enforce safety protocols in the workplace.
What happens when employers do not prioritize fall protection
When fall protection is not a priority, you face a higher risk of accidents. If you sustain an injury in the workplace, you may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation from your employer. This can help cover the costs of your medical expenses, rehabilitation and lost wages.
Additionally, those who overlook fall protection could face OSHA violations, with fines reaching up to $15,625 per fall protection-related offense. They might also be required to implement preventative measures to avert future incidents.
Seeking workers’ compensation for your injuries
Your job should not compromise your safety. If you sustain a severe injury due to unsafe working conditions, seek medical attention immediately and report it to your employer. You can also consider filing a complaint with the appropriate agencies, pursuing compensation or taking legal action.
You take on considerable risk to do your job well. Do not hesitate to advocate for the safe working conditions you are entitled to.