Falls from heights are a serious concern in all industries, but especially in the construction industry. In construction, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 preventable construction fatalities recorded in 2016. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries among all workers.
Have you ever slipped on ice, tripped up some stairs or fell off of a curb, and then looked around, hoping no one was watching? Everyone has, but hopefully we escaped with just some slight embarrassment! Unfortunately, there are some very serious statistics when it comes to people involved in a slip, a trip or a fall.
It's a cold and rainy Friday afternoon. The sun is barely peeking through and you have a job to do. You look up and see nothing but steel and gray skies. You look to your right and see your buddy working feverishly to get the job done. All the while as you look down, you stand mere inches from a 50 foot drop. You think back earlier in the day when your wife/husband told you "I'll see you when you get home". The words that traveled from their mouth to your ears should not be taken lightly. It's a call. A call that you have family, friends and loved ones expecting your presence and a duty to arrive home in the same condition you were in when you left for work.
Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) have consistently been in the top ten OSHA violations for several years, and are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. On January 28th, 2017, OSHA issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to better protect workers in general industry from these hazards by updating and clarifying standards and adding training and inspection requirements.