Falls Through Unprotected Holes
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
One of the most common types of construction site accidents is falls, in many cases involving a fall through an unprotected hole in flooring. When holes in flooring are not properly marked or covered, they become a serious safety hazard for even the most careful and experienced construction workers. Unfortunately, falls consistently account for the greatest amount of fatalities in the construction industry each year. When the proper steps aren’t taken by employers to protect the safety of their workers, the results can be devastating. If you or a loved one was injured on a construction site because of an unmarked or unprotected hole in flooring, contact a construction accident attorney today. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills and loss of income, which you can pursue by filing a workers’ compensation claim for medical benefits.
Injuries Caused by Falls through Unprotected Holes
Depending on the height from which a construction worker falls, the injuries resulting from falls through unprotected holes can range from minor to fatal. Unfortunately these injuries could have easily been avoided in many circumstances, had the worker been using proper safety equipment, had the hole been covered to prevent workers from falling through, or had the hole been roped off to alert workers of its presence in the floor. Injuries commonly resulting from this kind of fall include:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Wrongful death
- Traumatic brain injury
OSHA Regulations to Prevent Falls through Unprotected Holes
Federal safety regulations established by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are intended to protect the well-being of construction workers by providing guidelines that employers and supervisors must follow to provide a safe working environment. OSHA regulations put in place to prevent falls through unprotected holes include the following:
- Cover floor holes
- Use safety net systems or body harnesses
- Consider using aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working surfaces
- Erect guardrail systems with toeboards and warning lines
- Install control line systems to protect workers near the edges of roofs and floors
Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Liability Claims for Workplace Injuries
Labor laws in the United States require owners and general contractors to provide a safe working environment and protect construction workers from sustaining injuries while engaged in construction projects. This includes protecting workers from falls through unprotected holes, which could result in life-altering or fatal injury. Each state in the U.S. has workers’ compensation laws in place meant to offer critical benefits to those workers injured on the job site, and to the families of workers who are killed in construction site accidents. Injured workers may also have grounds to file a third-party liability claim if their injuries were caused by a third party not employed by their employer. Third-party liability claims give workers the opportunity to pursue compensation in addition to that offered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney for Legal Help
Workplace injuries like head or spinal cord injuries can severely affect the rest of a worker’s life, possibly requiring long-term medical care and preventing him or her from returning to work temporarily or permanently. If you were injured in a construction site accident involving a fall through an unprotected hole, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, contact a construction accident attorney today. You may be entitled to medical benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim, and you may even have grounds to file a third-party liability claim for additional financial compensation. Injured workers deserve to receive fair and timely reimbursement for their injuries, and to help them recover from the financial and emotional consequences also resulting from a construction accident. With the help of a qualified construction accident lawyer, injured workers can protect their legal rights and pursue the compensation they deserve.