A new cooperative initiative between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is currently being launched with the aim of fostering construction fall prevention.
Every year, 225 construction workers die and more than 10,000 are injured in construction falls. In 2010, 264 of the 774 total construction fatalities in the United States were caused by falls, and most of these were falls from a high worksite, like a roof, to a lower worksite.
While each construction death is a tragic loss, these incidents could be prevented with adequate safety equipment and good safety training, both of which OSHA require employers provide to workers. Now, OSHA has partnered with NIOSH and ASSE to promote construction safety and fall prevention.
The fall prevention campaign launched by OSHA, NIOSH and ASSE will provide information on fall prevention and training materials on falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds. The organizations used what are called “consensus standards,” or safety standards based on best practices determined by construction safety experts, to develop their campaign information and training materials.
Workers can find information on OSHA’s website and the website for the Center for Construction research and Training. The materials on OSHA’s website are available in both English and Spanish. The OSHA prevention plan focuses on the concept of Plan-Provide-Train. This directive is aimed at employers, who are required by the administration to keep their workers safe.
Plan-Provide-Train requires employers to identify safety hazards at the worksite and plan how they will keep workers safe despite these hazards. Then, it encourages employers to provide appropriate safety equipment, like personal fall arrest systems, to keep employees safe while working on roofs and other high worksites. Additionally, employers must provide adequate safety training so workers understand site hazards and know how to effectively use safety equipment.
While the new fall prevention campaign should reduce instances of workers falling at construction sites, accidents will inevitably occur. When they do, injured parties may be able to hold their employers responsible for their injuries if their employers failed to provide proper safety equipment or training or failed to regularly inspect the worksite for safety hazards. Construction site owners, contractors and even site engineers can be held responsible for a worker’s injuries.
If you have been injured in a fall at a construction site, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand any compensation to which you may be entitled.