The coming summer season involves more construction projects–and more workplace injuries. This makes it a good time to review your commercial insurance coverage to learn if it is sufficient or needs some protection updating.
While fatal accidents, like those that have occurred during construction for the upcoming World Cup Tournament in Brazil, there are many other risks that garner less media, but present common dangers. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) stairways and ladders are a primary source of injuries, sometimes fatalities, for construction workers.
OSHA estimates almost 25,000 injuries annually from falls on stairways and ladders used during construction projects. Around one-half of these accidents result in lost time off the job. This data confirms the inherent hazards involved in using temporary stairways and ladders during construction. While these injuries seldom make the evening news, they can be just as devastating to the workers and their employers as the more spectacular variety.
Contractors should be familiar with OSHA general and specific requirements for stairways and ladders when used on jobsites.
- A stairway or ladder must be accessible to all workers when there is a “break in elevation.”
- When only one point of access exists, it must be kept clear to allow “free passage.”
- If multiple points of access exist, at least one must be kept clear.
- All stairway and ladder “fall protection systems” mandated by these rules must be installed before employees start work.
OSHA also has requirements for stairway width and degrees of elevation from the horizontal, along with separate specific regulations for stair rails and handrails to further enhance worker protection. Ladders have their own separate requirements, including “job-made ladders,” whether portable or fixed.
For more information, contact Agers Insurance Services in Oakley, California. Since 1990, Agers Insurance Services has served individuals and businesses in the area and now represents numerous major companies, such as Progressive, to offer affordable coverage for Contra Costa County residents and companies. Call Tom Ager and Agers Insurance Services today to review your commercial coverage.