Falls are continuing to plague the construction industry, true to all of the statistics that we have all learned over the years. Falls are the number one cause of death in construction.
I opened up my social media apps about an hour ago to browse current events and was bombarded by new fall fatalities to start the first month of the fall season.
If you have workers that work at heights of six feet or greater, do not hesitate to call a fall safety stand-down, similar to the one that OSHA promotes in May of every year. There may be an element of complacency that creeps onto our jobsites as the summer winds down. If that is occurring at your site, you need to stop it now.
The falls this week have been related to scaffold use, roofing, guardrails, and elevators. Remember the hierarchy of safety controls, and ensure that your workers are looking at guardrail condition, inspecting scaffolds daily, and inspecting and using their personal fall arrest systems where applicable.
Use the links below to share information about current fall fatality events, unfortunately, there is one for every region of the USA:
In addition to the fall fatalities, there were numerous cases in which workers fell and suffered minor to serious injuries.
Do your part to prevent falls at your jobsite. A generic fall protection program will not cut it. Many of the fatalities were related to scaffolding, aerial lifts, and other scenarios that we usually count on as engineering controls. Take a holistic look at fall exposures and controls at your site, make sure that workers understand the use, limitations, and inspection requirements of the specific fall protection or prevention equipment they are using for the task.