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ARI Blog: Article

Restoration Insurance Tips: Workers Compensation and Fall Protection

One of the most frequent workers' compensation claims associated with restoration contractors is falls. Employees falling off ladders, scaffolding, or roofs is a severe issue, and a single claim can dramatically affect your insurance premiums.

Every company should have a Fall Protection Plan that addresses the use of conventional fall protection in several areas of the project and identifies specific activities that require non-conventional means of fall protection.

During the construction of commercial and residential buildings under 48 feet in height, it is sometimes infeasible or creates more significant hazards to use conventional fall protection systems in specific areas or for particular tasks. The areas or tasks may include, but are not limited to:

a. Setting and bracing of roof trusses and rafters:

b. Installation of floor sheathing and joists.

c. Roof sheathing operations; and

d. Erecting exterior walls.

In these cases, conventional fall protection systems may not be the safest choice for builders. This is why your plan should be designed to enable supervisors and employees to recognize the fall hazards associated with this job and to establish the safest procedures to be followed to prevent falls to lower levels.

Employees should be trained in all procedures and strictly adhere to them, except when doing so would expose them to a more significant hazard. If, in the employee’s opinion, this is the case, the employee is to notify the competent person of their concern and have the problem addressed before proceeding.

The Safety Director is responsible for implementing this Fall Protection Plan. Continual observation of safety checks of work operations and enforcing the safety policy and procedures shall be regularly enforced. The crew supervisor or foreman is responsible for immediately correcting any unsafe practices or conditions.

It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that all employees understand and adhere to this plan's procedures and follow the crew supervisor's instructions. It is also the employee's responsibility to bring to management’s attention any unsafe conditions or practices that may cause injury to either themselves or any other employees. The Safety Director must approve any changes to the Fall Protection Plan.

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