Fall-related injuries in U.S. construction sites
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls remain among the leading causes of death in construction sites in the country. In 2013, 828 of the 4,101 deaths have been
recorded in the construction sector. Of the 828 total deaths, 302 of those were related to fall.
If not deadly, falls usually result in injuries that may cause tremendous damage to one’s physical,
emotional and financial well-being.
OSHA’s Campaign to Reduce Falls
In light of this, the OSHA has launched a campaign to cut back on fall-related incidents in construction
sites. OSHA asks every employer and site manager to PLAN, PROVIDE, and TRAIN to reduce the risk of
Planning involves determining how a project must be done, the inherent hazards it might have, and the
tools needed to reduce the hazard. For instance, if a worker needs to get an exterior wall painted,
reliable scaffolding is needed to enable him to work around the area safely.
As a manager or employer, it is your duty to provide your workers the safest equipment available.
Roofers, for instance, are needed to be equipped with personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) to prevent
them from plummeting from the roof down to lower levels. Safety equipment should also be designed
and manufactured within quality standards. This will ensure that the products have no defects and are
safe to use.
From setting up fall protection equipment to working under safe conditions, workers need training to
reduce the risk of falls. Trainings may take in many forms – from casual focused group discussions to
formal hazard detection and mitigation courses. A two-minute construction safety video played in the
pantry during breaks could also be a good strategy in reminding workers the need to act safe all the
Reducing the risk of fall in construction sites entails cooperation between the employer and the
employee. By doing your part as an employer, you are ensuring that your workers are safe from the
dangers brought about by fall hazard.