On a daily basis, construction workers employed in various segments are exposed to numerous occupational hazards. Falls remain one of the most common and potentially deadly of all construction hazards and, during 2013, accounted for roughly 37 percent of all construction worker deaths.
Construction workers must routinely ascend ladders, work atop scaffolding and climb on the roofs of buildings. At any given moment, a construction worker who is working six or more feet above the ground may be at risk of slipping and falling. Without the proper fall protection gear, any worker who falls from a height is at risk of suffering serious and even fatal injuries.
In an effort to reduce the number of fall injuries within the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established safety regulations by which construction employers are legally required to abide as well as numerous recommendations on how to improve fall-safety measures and training. Ensuring workers are properly trained is one of the key elements to preventing fall accidents.
In addition to providing construction workers with education and training on how to effectively use fall prevention equipment, employers must also take steps to prevent falls from occurring. Providing employers with the knowledge needed to inspect and identify unsafe equipment like ladders or faulty scaffolding can literally save lives.
Along with adequate training related to fall prevention measures and equipment, employers must provide the right type of safety equipment. Certain jobs require different types of safety gear and employers must make sure employees use the appropriate gear and that it is in proper working order and well maintained.
Source: OSHA.gov, “Welcome to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign,” March 10, 2015