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Changes in falls protections meant to prevent workplace accidents

Falls while on-the-job result in numerous injuries and deaths every year in North Carolina and across the country. To help prevent such workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has just updated its falls protections rules. The organization believes that the changes imposed will not only prevent at least 29 fatalities a year, but thousands of injuries as well.

Falls, either occurring on the same level or from heights, are actually believed to be a leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths. Employers are already supposed to provide safety equipment to prevent such accidents, but OSHA believes more can be done. New rules will allow for more forms of protective gear to be utilized and change requirements on safety training.

The biggest benefit to this rule change is the flexibility if offers employers. They will now have the ability to use a variety of fall protection systems, instead of the standard guardrails. Along with this change, they are now given six months to one year to provide workers who may be exposed to falls hazards with the necessary safety training.

While these new falls protections will help save lives and prevent injuries, workplace accidents are likely to still happen in North Carolina and elsewhere. When they do, victims or -- in the event of fatality -- their surviving family members may be able to access workers' compensation benefits to help cover their losses. In some cases, third-party claims may be filed in an effort to recover damages as well. An experienced attorney can help those in need of assistance with filing work comp or other civil claims as they seek fair and full compensation.

Source: osha.gov, "Final Rule to Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards", Accessed on Jan. 12, 2017

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