When it comes to preventing falls in the workplace, employers in Minnesota should start with OSHA’s three preliminary steps: planning, providing and training. If they do not, they may face all kinds of headaches. Consider how a fall-related injury can lead to:
• Victims taking a month or more off work
• Extensive medical compensation costs
• Decreased morale among co-workers
• Decreased productivity as a result of lower morale
Having an effective fall prevention program
It all starts with planning out a project ahead of time. Supervisors should conduct a hazard assessment and then take steps to address those risks. Then, workers should be given personal protective equipment like harnesses. They must also have the right ladders at hand so that they don’t do anything unsafe like put too much weight on a ladder.
Obviously, training should cover the right use of all equipment, the inspecting of scaffolding, the following of OSHA fall regulations and more. Supervisors should be trained on spotting any unsafe behaviors among workers on an elevated surface.
Cultivating a safety-conscious workplace
Without a safety-oriented culture in the workplace, employees are liable to become complacent about their safety and take risks. They may feel more inclined to rush a job or work through their feelings of fatigue. Training must address these and other potential issues.
Compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses
Falling from a height can lead to serious injuries and even a diminished capacity to earn a living. Fortunately, you can be reimbursed for your losses under workers’ compensation law. The benefits include wage replacement and coverage for medical expenses, including the cost of treatments, prescriptions and travel to and from the hospital. With a lawyer helping you, the filing and the mounting of an appeal, if necessary, may be easier.