The National Safety Stand-Down is a weeklong program dedicated to educating workers and contractors about proper construction site safety. Falls account for the largest percentage of construction worker fatalities, taking 647 lives in 2014. Tragically, falls are also among the easiest to prevent with proper safety equipment and training. This article follows the story from the Director of the Philadelphia Area Office of OSHA as they go out on a call to a three-story apartment complex construction site.
This OHSA team was sent out to investigate a fall that a 27-year-old construction worker suffered. He was being carried onto the roof by the long-arm of a forklift when his platform became unstable and he fell. He suffered severe spinal injuries and may never walk again. Unfortunately, this entire accident could have been prevented if he was lifted to the roof in the property manner and secured by safety equipment.
This story underscores the goal of the National Safety Stand-Down, during which all construction sites pause for a moment of silence every day for a week in remembrance of those who have fallen to their deaths. It is meant as a wake-up call to push workers and employers to increase safety standards. This year the program will be from May 2nd to May 6th.
Luckily, most construction site injuries are not that serious. However, until you are examined by a doctor you may not know the extent of your injuries. Head and back injuries sometimes take weeks or months to fully manifest themselves. If you were injured while working a construction site, then you may have a viable workers' compensation claim. You may want to contact a lawyer to go over your claim and help you file it.