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Plan, provide and train strategy can limit construction injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says falls cause most of the injuries and fatalities on construction sites nationwide, including in Tennessee. The agency devised a model as part of a fall prevention program. They suggest employers should use a strategy that focuses on planning, providing and training to limit construction injuries.

Proper planning before the commencement of high-risk tasks like working at elevated levels might eliminate the need for working at heights or limit the time and number of workers involved in such hazardous conditions. Planning must include which tools, equipment and materials will need to be on the scaffold or other elevated structure, and also how many workers the structure will accommodate. Before moving on, the need for personal protective equipment, toe boards, guardrails and safety nets must be planned.

The next step is to provide workers with all the PPE they will need along with the safety equipment as planned to eliminate fall hazards. The final step is to train employees in safe navigation while working at heights, including the proper and correct use of fall arrest systems. Workers who can recognize and address safety hazards before accidents happen are more likely to complete the job without accidental falls.

Not all employers in Tennessee are willing to send the time, effort and money on planning, providing and training. Sadly, it will be workers who will suffer the consequences. Those who suffer construction injuries may find comfort knowing that the workers' compensation insurance program is designed to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. The help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney can simplify the complicated claims process.

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