OSHA: Falls are leading cause of death in construction industry

OSHA is cracking down on fall protection standards, hoping to prevent future deaths.

More construction industry workers die from falls than from any other on-the-job accident.

More construction industry employees die from falling than from any other work-related hazard, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The federal agency is currently running a nationwide safety campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of falls among both workers and supervisors, and is also cracking down on companies that are not in OSHA compliance with steep punitive fines. For example, a masonry company in New Jersey is facing $52,470 in fines for exposing employees to fall hazards, while a roofing firm in Illinois could have to pay $48,400.

“Allowing construction workers on roofs without fall protection is inexcusable negligence,” OSHA area director in Illinois, Kathy Webb, said in a press release. “No worker should lose their life for a paycheck.”

Officials say that following these three steps can dramatically reduce the number of preventable deaths at construction sites:

Plan:

Contractors and other construction managers must account for safety equipment costs when providing customers with estimates, and should thoroughly assess a job’s safety requirements before sending workers into the field.

Provide:

Under federal law, employers are required to provide proper safety equipment for their teams. This will vary depending on the job and other circumstances.

Train:

Even the best fall protection equipment won’t do much good if workers do not know how to properly use it to stay safe. This is why OSHA says that employee training is so crucial in reducing the number of accidents. Mastery Technologies offers a variety of inexpensive, easy-to-use online training courses to educate your team on proper fall protection. While helping to keep you in compliance with federal regulations, these resources could also save your employees’ lives.

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