Depending on the industry, workers in Pennsylvania can face a variety of hazards. However, one of the most common hazards is from falls. Even a fall from a short distance can be extremely dangerous for workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are one of the most common causes of fatal workplace accidents. Because of the seriousness of workplace falls, many Pennsylvania workers may wonder -- how do employers need to protect workers from the risk of falls in the workplace?
OSHA places the responsibly of protecting workers with the employer. Under OSHA regulations, employers are responsible for implementing a variety of safety measures to reduce the risk of falls for employees. These measures include keeping the workplace free from known hazards and dangers. This means that floors must be clean and dry -- as much as possible.
Any hole in the floor must be guarded in some way. This can include the use of cover, guardrails or toe-boards. When workers are working on an elevated surface, guardrails and toe-boards need to be used on open sides. These protections should also be in place if a worker could fall into a dangerous piece of equipment or a machine. There are also industry specific requirements that may require an employer to have other protections in place.
Employers, under OSHA regulations, also need to provide workers with protective equipment and training in order to reduce the risk of accidents. If employers ignore these rules, fatal work related accidents can occur. The family of workers killed on the job may have legal rights. While this blog post can only provide information about falls, an attorney can provide specific legal advice when a fall results in a fatality.