As we’ve talked about, falls are the leading cause of death in construction. According to NIOSH, the construction industry averages more than 310 fatal falls and 10,350 serious fall-related injuries a year. Additionally, the majority of fatal falls from scaffolds (86%), roofs (81%) and ladders (57%) occur in construction.
NIOSH has a new fact sheet to help construction employers and workers work safely to prevent falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds.
The fact sheet has some recommendations for avoiding falls:
For working on roofs:
- Implement a fall protection program, wear proper fall protection and undergo corresponding training.
- Use correct anchorage for fall arrest systems.
- Use a buddy system.
- Monitor weather conditions when working at height.
For workers on ladders:
- Choose the right ladder for the job.
- Don’t overload the ladder.
- Use the ladder on flat, level ground.
- Face the ladder while climbing and maintain three points of contact at all times.
For workers on scaffolds:
- Train and assign a person to supervise scaffold setup.
- Ensure scaffolds comply with manufacturer guidelines and OSHA standards.
- Place scaffolds on stable ground or surfaces.
- Inspect scaffolds and scaffold parts before each use.