Construction is a dangerous industry to work in, as workers face a variety of hazards on a daily basis. Falls are the number one cause of fatalities, and they injure many workers as well.
Many of the falls that occur are preventable. Management and workers can do more to minimize the chances of injury.
Stats and data regarding falls
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls can occur down to a lower level or on the same level. For nonfatal injuries, the rate of falls to a lower level is 15.7 per 10,000 workers, and the rate of falls on the same level is 10.2 per 10,000 workers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that falls account for around 33% of on-the-job fatalities. Most of these falls occur in the South and to workers who are 46 years of age or older. Hispanics make up 29% of the workforce, and they account for 39% of fatal falls.
Prevention is critical to reduce fatal and non-fatal fall injuries. Training is a big aspect. Companies should invest the time and resources to properly train all new workers and provide periodic retraining sessions. This training includes how to use equipment safely and to be aware of the surrounding work areas.
Providing the proper equipment for heights is also important. This includes stable platforms, railings and protective gear such as a harness and lanyard. Ladders are also a big factor in construction falls, so management should train workers to use them properly.
Another aspect of prevention is planning ahead and scanning the site before work begins. This includes preparing the right equipment that workers will need to perform the job safely.