If you've ever slipped on an oily patch of floor or tripped over a loose piece of carpeting you know how easy it can be to take a fall. And if you did fall, you would join the more than 42,000 people who get injured each year in work-related falls. That's about seventeen percent of the "time-loss injuries" across Canada as well as a lot of economic loss, pain and suffering, and sometimes even death.
OSHA says that if the construction industry focused on eliminating the top four causes of fatalities among workers, 410 worker fatalities a year could be prevented. Out of 4,114 worker fatalities in private industry in 2011, 721 (17.5 percent) were in construction.
A new NIOSH-funded study on fatalities in the construction industry suggests roofers in residential construction are among those most likely to die in falls from roofs. The study, "Fatal falls from roofs among U.S. construction workers," finds that "the odds of fatal falls from roofs were higher for roofing and residential construction than any other construction sector."
Fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 666 workers in 2011, or about 14 percent of all fatal work injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls to lower level accounted for 541 of those fatalities.
OSHA has announced that it will extend for three months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction – to March 15, 2013. Those measures include priority free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to ensure consistency, and increased outreach.
OSHA and the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) have renewed an Alliance to address slips, trips, falls from heights, and the safe use of high-reach access equipment such as ladders and scaffolding in the window cleaning industry.
One construction worker a day dies on a worksite from a fall. One a day. That’s what the national data consistently tells us, since one-third of all deaths on construction sites are from falls. Every year more than 10,000 construction workers in the private construction industry experience serious, even life-changing, injuries from a fall.
Slips, Trips and Falls. When you think of workplace falls, dramatic falls from higher elevations come to mind. Falls from higher elevations most likely result in serious or fatal injuries whereas most common, everyday falls seem minor without resulting in serious injuries.