The leading cause of construction workers deaths are falls. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a brochure with information on how employers and construction workers can better prevent fall injuries and deaths. Every year in the US more than 31o workers die and more than 10,350 are injured after falling from heights. Workers on roofs, workers on ladders and workers on scaffolds have the highest risk of getting injured in a fall. According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, in 2016, 124 workers died after falling from a roof, 104 of them died after falling from a ladder and 60 of them died after falling from a scaffold.
Roofers have the most dangerous occupation
81% of people dying after falling from a roof are construction workers. Most common factors contributing to this fatal accidents are inexperience, lack of fall protection, no safety harness, fall protection system not proprely installed, working alone, bad weather conditions. Falls can be prevented by implementing a serious fall protection program, making sure workers all have proper safety equipment and are proprely trained to use it,inspecting fall equipment, using proper anchorage, using buddy system and monitoring weather conditions
51% of people who died in ladder accidents were construction workers
Ladders seem easy to use however they are particularly dangerous. Accidents often happen when workers are not proprely trained on what type of ladder to choose and how to use them. Overloading, not setting up the ladder on a flat surface or not extending it above the roof line can also result in catastrophic accidents. A lack of safe access can also result in accidents. When on the ladder workers should always face the ladder and make sure to maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder.at any time.
Not only should scaffolds be installed proprely so they are secure but workers should also be proprely trained to identify, understand and control fall hazards related to their usage. 86% of people dying in scaffold accidents are construction workers. In order to prevent accidents scaffolds should be secured, have a proper access, and be fully planked. If they are higher than 10 feet they should have a guardrail or a fall arrest system. The scaffold has to be installed according to OSHA standards and parts have to be inspected before each use. The set up has to be supervised by a fully trained person.
Download the complete Fall Prevention Brochure