Spotlight on Safety: Construction Falls
Construction safety is absolutely important. In 2013, 4,585 workers were killed on the job. Falls accounted for 36.5% of those deaths. It is the #1 most cited OSHA violation. In fact, while writing this article, a man fell 100 feet off scaffolding when workers began setting up for a break. They were removing planks from scaffolding when the victim stepped through and fell. He died immediately, adding to the terrible statistic.
By following a few simple steps, construction workers and employers can work together to prevent fall injuries and fatalities.
1. See a hole? Guard it! Any hole that a worker could accidentally step into should be guarded with railing, toeboards, or a floor hole cover.
2. If there is any risk of a construction worker falling into or onto a hazard such as a machine or vat of chemicals, guard it. Add guardrails and toeboards to prevent a worker from falling.
3. Provide harness and line, safety nets, stair railings, and hand rails when they're necessary.
4. Employers should always provide a workplace free of known dangers, clean and sanitary conditions, personal protective equipment, and worker training in a language they can understand.
Construction falls are a very real danger. When workers and employers work together, they can prevent injuries and fatalities from falls.