Falls are among the most common causes of fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries. Despite ongoing efforts, falls caused 724 deaths and 229,190 severe injuries at worksites across the nation in 2013.
Between 2003 and 2013, 3,850 construction workers died as a result of falls—an average of about one death per day. The rate of fatal falls among roofers was over 60 times higher than for all occupations combined. Fall injuries were also more likely to occur among older workers, Hispanic workers, and workers employed in small establishments.
Fall injuries are preventable. Findings from the NIOSH FACE reports (1982 to present) show that among 324 identified construction fall fatalities, only 5.6% of the decedents were using fall protection. To prevent fall injuries, a wealth of training materials have been developed; including hazard alert cards, videos, toolbox talks, Construction Solutions Database, on-line library (eLCOSH), OSHA Construction eTool, and NIOSH ladder safety app. There have been over 100,000 downloads of individual toolbox talks in this series. Post-tests showed the proportion of workers who intended to inspect ladders before use increased from 44% to 83% after they watched the CPWR video, “Don’t Fall for It.”
To bring national awareness to the risk of occupational falls, CPWR joined with OSHA and NIOSH to launch the Fall Prevention Campaign. This national campaign provides resources to assist employers and workers with their fall protection plans and programs through the campaign website, StopConstructionFalls.com and an annual Stand-Down event. Over one million construction workers participated in the 2015 event.
Source: The Center for Construction Research and Training