According to NIOSH, each day, between 12 to 13 U.S. workers die as a result of a traumatic injury on the job. More construction workers die from falls than from any other on-the-job injury.
NIOSH and its partners (OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training) have launched Safety Pays, Falls Cost, a nationwide campaign to prevent construction falls and raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs.
Through the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program, NIOSH conducts investigations of fatal occupational injuries. The primary intent of this program is to provide interested users with access to the full text of hundreds of fatality investigation reports.
OSHA’s recommendations include:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.
When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
PROVIDE the right equipment
Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job.