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How employers could hold a fall safety stand-down

Employers in Connecticut should know about the prevalence of falls in the workplace since they are the leading cause of death among workers in the construction industry. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, one-third of all construction fatalities are due to falls. Though OSHA has regulations in place to protect employees who work on elevated surfaces, many companies do not implement these rules.

For these reasons, the Center for Construction Research and Training, NIOSH and OSHA and have come together to create the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. The fifth annual stand-down will take place May 7-11 in 2018. This event encourages construction employers to put a temporary stop to their operations in order to discuss fall safety with their workforce.

The stand-down can be held in any number of ways depending on the needs of each business. For example, employers could simply hold training sessions with demonstrations, videos and toolbox talks and follow that up with inspections of scaffolding and other equipment. The important thing is to address fall hazards and make sure employees are aware of the risks they face. Businesses in all 50 states and even internationally have participated in these stand-downs with 49 percent of them being companies with less than 25 employees.

Despite the best efforts of both employers and workers, a person can still sustain a workplace injury through no one's fault in particular. A hurt worker is eligible for workers' compensation benefits, but it would be a good idea for him or her to hire a lawyer before filing. Attorneys can hire investigators to build up claims and pursue fair settlements that cover their clients' medical expenses, lost time from work and any other applicable damages. Lawyers can file claims and help their clients mount appeals if these are denied.

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