Who is Liable for Falls Through Skylights, Roof and Floor Openings?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC January 24, 2015 General

In 2011 OSHA listed falls as the top cause of death on construction sites. Inadequate protection around skylights, roof and floor openings are the cause of many of these incidents, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety. Employers are responsible for the security of workers on the job site, and many of these falls can be prevented. The ensure safety employers must:

Create and enforce a written fall prevention program that meets OSHA fall prevention standards.
When possible use fall prevention systems with features such as guardrails instead of fall protection systems, which use features such as safety nets. They are found to provide more safety.
Assign a person with knowledge of possible fall hazards to identify them ahead of time, and develop a system of prevention.
Use appropriate prevention tools around fall zones including screens or covers, railings or guardrails, body harnesses, lanyards, connectors, and correct anchorage points.
Cover or guard all holes as soon as they are created.
Create floor hole covers that support twice the weight of workers, materials, or equipment that can come in contact with it.
Periodically inspect the fall prevention system, scheduled and unscheduled, to make sure they are working properly.
Train workers on identifying fall hazards and proper prevention procedures.
Never hire anyone under the age of 18 to do any roofing work, including repairs, unless they are an apprentice or student learner.
Immediately address any broken or overlooked safety feature that has been brought to their attention by an employee.

If you have suffered an injury on a construction site due to lack of adequate fall prevention provided by an employer, contact an experienced NY construction accident attorney today.