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Falling accidents: Worker dies after fall from church beam

When Georgia construction companies plan projects, they are required by law to consider the safety regulations that apply. Work that has to be done at dangerous heights, such as on a roof, scaffolding or ladder, requires particular consideration. Workers who are expected to perform their duties at heights exceeding a prescribed level are exposed to the risk of falling accidents that may result in severe injuries or worse if they are not using proper fall protection.

As a safety precaution, employers must provide adequate fall protection in the form of safety gear, while ensuring that equipment, such as scaffolding and ladders, are well-maintained. In addition, workers should be trained in identifying potential safety hazards and the proper use of safety equipment. Despite the clear guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a significant number of injuries and fatalities caused by falling accidents are reported annually.

OSHA is investigating a fatal accident that recently occurred at a site where a Georgia church is under construction. A 35-year-old worker reportedly fell from a steel beam, and it is suspected that he suffered injuries to his head. He did not survive the accident and was declared dead at the construction site. The official cause of death is pending. OSHA will establish whether any safety regulations were violated in connection with the death of the worker.

Without fall protection, falling accidents can have catastrophic repercussions. Life-changing injuries and even fatalities are often the results of such accidents. Injured workers and the grieving families of those who lost their lives will likely suffer a multitude of hardships. The income potential of injured workers may never recover, and surviving family members of the deceased will be denied the income upon which they were dependent. The workers' compensation insurance fund provides compensation for medical or end-of-life expenses, along with a percentage of lost wages.

Source: accessnorthga.com, "OSHA, coroner investigating death of worker in Toccoa", Rob Moore, Feb. 10, 2015

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