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10,000 falls in construction every year prompts OSHA outreach campaign

fallingSecretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis earlier this year announced a new campaign led by OSHA to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. The awareness campaign will provide employers and workers with life-saving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and another 255 workers were killed.

OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. OSHA and NIOSH will work with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates to provide employers and workers – especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers – with education and training on common-sense fall prevention equipment and strategies that save lives.

OSHA has created a new fall prevention Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at www.osha.gov/stopfalls. NIOSH and NORA also have created a page on the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html, as well as a joint website on fall prevention at www.stopconstructionfalls.com, which will be maintained by the Center for Construction Research and Training, that contains information from industry, nonprofit and academic sources.

"The busy summer months in the construction industry are upon us, and now is the time to ensure that workers and employers understand what is required to prevent falls," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "When working at heights, everyone needs to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely."

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