New industry campaign to prevent construction worker falls
More than 10,000 U.S. construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights and another 225 were killed in 2010. In order to provide additional tools to prevent worker injuries and fatalities in the construction industry, the American Society of Safety Engineers is joining with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to support a new Fall Prevention Campaign (stopconstructionfalls.com).
The national campaign to raise awareness about preventing construction falls also is supported by state governments, private industries, trade associations, academia and professional and labor organizations. It focuses on providing prevention information and training materials on three major types of falls: from roofs, ladders and scaffolds.
Occupational safety, health and environmental professionals work with construction workers and employers on providing the safest workplaces possible as well as with personal protection equipment aimed at protecting those workers in their environments, said Ron Sokol, president and CEO of the Safety Council-Texas City, who also represents ASSE on the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector. This new effort will provide additional tools.
Some of the risks involve working on sloping roofs, from heights, at the edge of buildings, possible slipping, carrying equipment and more. To help construction workers stay safe, SH&E professionals also use consensus standards such as “Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest & Rescue Systems,” “Scaffolding Safety Requirements” and “Emergency Procedures for Construction and Demolition Sites.” Additionally, ASSE’s largest practice specialty is the Construction Practice Specialty group, made up of top construction safety professionals with global experience who share best practices and sponsor construction-related sessions at ASSE’s annual professional development conference to stay on the cutting edge of construction safety.
OSHA’s new fall prevention website has detailed information in English and Spanish at www.osh.gov/stopfalls along with the www.stopconstructionfalls.com website from the Center for Construction Research and Training with information from industry, nonprofit and academic sources. In addition, Sokol said the fall prevention literature will be translated into seven additional languages by OSHA for broader distribution.
Source: American Society of Safety Engineers