As of 2015, there were over 10 million workers in the United States of America in the construction industry. The fatal four represent the top four injuries that lead to fatalities in the construction industry. Falls are one of them, in fact, falls are the leading cause of disability in the United States with 30.7 % of disability cases. Each year, American disability due to falls costs over $50 billion, which is almost $1 billion spent each week. Sadly, construction workers are the most likely to die on the job from a fall. Falls are the second cause of death for all workers after transportation incidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 800 people died on the job in 2015 from falls. Dispelling the myth that it takes huge heights to cause serious injury, 36 % of on-the-job fatal falls are from less than 15 feet which reminds that it’s important to have a safe workplace environment. This is one of the reasons why OSHA and American National Standards Institute worked to improve the fall standards and tried to inform workers. In 2017, average cost per violation for fall protection represents 4 791 $.
Here are the 6 steps to avoid falling hazards
- Familiarize yourself with fall protection rules from OSHA.
- Investigate workplace fall hazards possible on a regular basis.
- Try to eliminate these hazards whenever possible.
- Teach your work team about the risk and the consequence of fall hazards and a proper workplace safety protocol.
- Find the area of your building that is at risk and might need falls protection.
- Install and maintain fall prevention and protection devices.
Important facts: OSHA regulations and your company
- Providing accessible and thorough training on job hazards.
- OSHA training programs.
- Up-to-date safety handbooks.
- Robust safety orientation for new hires.
- Culture of safety in your company.
- Maintaining a workplace without any know dangers.
- Providing fall protection and prevention equipment for free to workers.
- Keeping workplace floors clean and, if possible, dry.
- Allowing for open communication and reporting of health and safety concerns.
In addition, according to OSHA’s final rule regarding fall hazards, the updates include the following two protection factors that must be completed by 19 November 2018:
- Install personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladder/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures.
- Ensure existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system.
Do not hesitate to consult our standards section on our web site to learn more about it!