Some Pennsylvania employers might be participating in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Stand-Down Campaign” that runs from May 8-12. This year’s focus is on preventing falls in construction.
Employers are encouraged to take a break from work to discuss safety and fall prevention with employees. Employers may want to discuss the importance of various safety programs and hazard prevention. Employees may also have the opportunity to point out hazards to their employers. Other activities that are encouraged include talking about hazards specific to workplaces or jobs, creating rescue plans and inspecting safety equipment.
It is estimated that about 5 million workers have been reached by the annual campaign, which will be heading into its fourth year. Among the participants have been institutes, unions, the military, independent contractors, residential and commercial construction companies, employers’ trade associations, safety equipment manufacturers and employee interest groups.
Falls are a common cause of accidents across all industries and not just in construction. For example, an employee could suffer a fall at a school or in an office if hallways are not cleared. Most injured employees are eligible for workers’ compensation. This can be important for employees who may be struggling with bills and medical expenses while unable to work. An injured employee might want to consult an attorney because an employer may be unfamiliar with the laws around workers’ compensation or might discourage the employee from applying. An attorney might be able to review the worker’s rights and assist in filing a workers’ compensation claim. The attorney may also be of assistance if the claim is denied or if the employer attempts to retaliate against the employee for seeking benefits.