OSHA Campaigns to Prevent Construction Site Falls


With the construction season well underway, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is working to prevent construction site accidents, and falls on construction sites in particular. Falls are by far the number one cause of fatalities in the construction industry, responsible for about one out of every three deaths.

In 2010, 264 construction workers lost their lives due to fall-related accidents, and over 10,000 were injured. Construction workers are often exposed to fall hazards including roofs, scaffolds, ladders, cranes and floor openings. Almost all of these construction falls are completely preventable with proper training, equipment and safety precautions.

OSHA is reaching out to both construction workers and employers to raise awareness about fall hazards and prevention measures. The agency is stressing three main points: plan, provide and train. Employers should plan ahead for a safe work site, including making sure the budget allows for the proper equipment. Workers then need to be provided with the appropriate safety gear and the correct equipment, including the right types of ladders and scaffolds.

The final step is to provide adequate training to construction workers. Workers should understand how to properly select, set-up and use equipment and machinery. Workers should also be given training in hazard recognition. OSHA has developed a variety of training resources which are available on the agency’s website.

In many cases, New York law holds property owners and general contractors responsible for ensuring sites have proper fall protection systems. If you are injured while working on a construction site by a fall or other construction accident an attorney can provide advice about potential claims.

Source: United States Department of Labor, OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign

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