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How can falls through roofs on construction sites be prevented?

When working on a construction site, you always have to watch where you step. Even if you are on the ground, it is all too easy to trip over something or even to fall into a ditch. But if you only fall a couple of feet, your risk of suffering a serious injury is relatively limited. This is not the case if you should fall from a great height. For this reason, it is critical to be aware of where you are stepping when you are working on a roof or an upper floor of a building.

Frequently, buildings that are under construction have holes in the floors or roofs. Roofs also frequently have skylights. A fall through an open hole or skylight could result in a worker dropping a significant distance before experiencing a hard landing.

As such, it is critical that precautions are taken to prevent workers from inadvertently falling through a hole or skylight. The following are preventative measures that can protect workers:

  • Whenever possible, workers should use appropriate fall protection.
  • Put up permanent guarding systems, or least temporary barricades, around skylights.
  • Use adequate covers or guardrail systems to cover holes. Also, use labels to indicate that a cover is obstructing a hole.
  • Be sure that covers guardrail systems are strong enough and constructed with materials that meet OSHA standards.

If a skylight or a hole is not properly covered or protected, it only takes one false step to send a worker plummeting through a floor or a roof. Such a fall could cause catastrophic injuries, leaving a worker in need of long-term care and treatment.

If you should fall while working on a construction site, it is important that you receive a level of workers' compensation that will cover your medical expenses and your time lost from the job. And an experienced workers' compensation attorney may be able to help you receive the maximum amount of money and benefits you need for your recovery.

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