People in the California construction industry know that construction sites can be a dangerous place if the site isn’t properly managed and overseen by an experienced professional foreman. Construction accidents can be debilitating or fatal, which is why California has an extensive regulatory system in place to make sure that every contractor and operator has the appropriate safeguards in place.
One of the most common construction site injuries is falling from a high place. Whether working on a scaffolding on the perimeter of a skyscraper or the roof of a house, the potential for injury is always present. To combat this, California requires construction workers to use a personal fall arrest system any time they are working in conditions which could lead to a fall of over 7.5 feet. These regulations also require the fall arrest system to have specific safety features, including locking vertical and horizontal “lifelines” which can support significant weight and are resistant to breaking, cutting or snapping.
There are many different scenarios in which the use of such a system or a similar system, such as a body harness or positioning device, is required by California safety regulations. In order to avoid potential liability all construction operators must be aware of these laws and follow them as closely as possible. A worker who is injured and claims that the proper safety gear was not required or not made available to them could have a colorable argument for a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, which could even lead to litigation. In any event, it is not the kind of distraction that any construction operator would want while trying to run their business and finish their project.
Avoiding construction litigation is always a primary goal, which is why construction companies should prepare to protect themselves from liability. A little prevention could be worth far more than the costs of a worker lawsuit or worksite tragedy.
Source: California Dept of Industrial Relations “Industrial Safety Regulations” accessed July 7, 2015