Don’t Fall into Bad Habits – Construction Site Fall Protection

Building Code COnstruction

David A. Doddridge, Building Code and Construction Consultant ::::
Every construction site can house a variety of hazards, no matter the size or scope of the project. However, there are unique regulations and differences in residential construction compared to commercial construction. But beyond the studies and research papers, there are real world consequences when residential and commercial companies don’t have the right procedures in place.
In one case, improper safety measures were nearly fatal. The plaintiff was working at a commercial construction site in New York City when he fell 17 feet off a roof in 2008. As a result, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple spinal and rib fractures. Although the plaintiff was wearing a safety harness, there was no lifeline attached to the harness. The injuries left him permanently disabled.
The expert for the plaintiff helped garner a multi-million-dollar settlement; believed to be the largest monetary amount for a single plaintiff in Queens, NY. In commercial construction, there are specific guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect from falls depending on the type of work being done.
The reason behind the enormous payout is thanks to a New York state law from 1885. The law – commonly referred to as the Scaffold Law – states that employers and building owners are liable for the safety of construction employees. Thus, if the plaintiff had fallen from a one or two- family home, the settlement would be nowhere near what it was. Continue reading “Don’t Fall into Bad Habits – Construction Site Fall Protection”