For decades, leading causes of death on construction sites have been “Falls” and “Struck by Object” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2015, OSHA recorded 364 deaths from falls (38.8 percent of the total construction deaths) and 90 from being struck by objects (9.6 percent of the total construction deaths).
Workers at height in most applications are mandated by OSHA to wear a fall protection harness and be tied off. In the construction industry it’s understood workers must utilize a primary safety system to prevent them from falling, or an active personal fall arrest system (PFAS) to arrest a fall when it occurs. Regarding objects, protection is addressed with debris nets, toe boards and personal protective equipment (PPE) to eliminate or limit potential damage. Here’s how the two risks are addressed: