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Why do workers fail to use fall protection gear?

Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the workplace year after year. Fall protection gear exists. Why do workers ignore it?

In some cases, they don't. They may simply not be provided with proper equipment by their employers.

One of the reasons for this is the additional cost of the equipment and the time it takes to put it on. Employers want jobs to be done quickly. Time is money. They may not want to front the cost and then decrease production, even if there's a risk.

Even employees who are given the proper gear may cite time as a major concern. For example, perhaps a roofer needs to go up on the roof at the end of a job to put on the last few shingles. He has used fall protection equipment for the entire job, but it takes 10 minutes to get everything set up -- all for two minutes of nailing on the shingles. The roofer may decide to chance it, assuming the risk is low with so little to do.

Other common reasons that employees give include saying that the gear is not comfortable to wear, saying that it makes it more difficult for them to work and saying that they weren't properly trained on how to use it. This can make them feel less safe or unsure if the gear is helping.

Have you lost a loved one in a deadly workplace fall? If that person did not have the necessary safety gear or was never trained on how to use it, you may want to look into your legal options to seek compensation.

Source: Simplified Safety, "Why Don’t People Wear Fall Protection?," accessed June 09, 2017

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