Falls are the number one cause of construction fatalities in the United States. In 2013 they accounted for more than 35% of worker deaths in the construction industry. Due to such a high risk factor assigned to this area, OSHA has placed an extra emphasis on preventing falls. OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign
identifies three steps to help eliminate fatal falls in construction: plan, provide, train.
Plan — It’s important that employers thoroughly plan out jobs that involve workers high off the ground. This planning involves identifying specific hazards like skylights, steep pitches on roofs, and placement of leading edges. Have safety equipment such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) on site and in working order.
Provide — If a worker is six feet or more above the ground, they’re at risk for injury or death from a fall. Making sure the right equipment is on the job site in working order and ready to use is essential in preventing deaths from falls. Providing the correct ladders or scaffolding required for each project can also help reduce the risks. Test the scaffolding, ladders, and other equipment such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) regularly to make sure they’re in good working order.
Train — The right equipment doesn’t do any good if workers don’t know how to use it. Regular trainings in the proper way to use ladders, scaffolding, and harnesses is essential to maintaining a safe job site. New workers as well as those who’ve been in construction for years benefit from continuous training on safety procedures.
Falls are a serious risk to workers in the construction industry. With careful planning, worker training, and the implementation of a safety plan, the number of deaths from falling can be severely reduced. If you have questions about how your construction company can benefit from creating a safety plan and onsite monitoring, feel free to give us a call at 864.905.7835.