Houston Fall Injury Attorney
There are numerous sources of fall injuries
Guardrails and handrails must be an adequate height and strength, and be properly spaced in order to be reasonably safe and, in many instances, in order to be compliant with local standards or ordinances. Short or poorly constructed guardrails and handrails on stairs and balconies can pose a serious risk of injury and death. Similarly, rails that are too far apart can allow children to slip through and fall. Builders and premises owners and operators can be responsible for injuries caused by inadequate guardrails or handrails, and even injuries caused by unguarded elevations.
Elevated platforms (stairway landings, decks, and balconies) must also be properly constructed and maintained for their intended and foreseeable use. Poor maintenance can lead to rust or wood rot making the elevated platform unsafe. Builders are responsible for the proper design and construction of elevated platforms, and premises owners and operators can also be responsible for the foreseeable risk of dangerous platforms that injure social or business visitors to the property. A platform collapse can seriously injure individuals on or beneath the platform.
Open manholes and other holes also pose a risk of injury. Walking into an unguarded manhole can result in a fall of 18 feet or more to a concrete surface, posing the extreme risk of injury or death. Open manholes must be clearly marked and guarded to prevent individuals from inadvertently walking into them and falling to the surface below. Merely placing a board over a manhole is insufficient. A proper manhole cover is a heavy steel cover clearly marked as a manhole cover. Such a cover should be able to withstand a great weight and be heavy enough to prevent inadvertent movement.
Construction sites are other common sites of fall injuries. All workers working 6 feet or above the surface below must be protected. Common mistakes at construction sites resulting in fall injuries include improper or defective fall protection equipment, failure to use proper fall prevention procedures such as warning lines, safety lines, and safety monitors, lack of temporary railings, using improper or defective personnel lifts, poorly constructed scaffolds, and improper or defective personnel boxes.
Defective or poorly designed ladders can result in serious fall injuries. Fixed ladders must be sufficiently far away from the wall to allow for a good foothold. Slippery ladder rungs without nonskid surface also pose risks of falls. Tall fixed ladders must be equipped with safety cages.
Dangerous jungle gyms and child playgrounds other sources of serious fall injuries that can result in liability.
For additional information on fall risks, go to www.osha.gov/stopfalls/
If you or your loved one has suffered serious injuries in a fall from an elevation, contact one of our Houston fall injury lawyers today for an initial consultation.