Feds Launch New Construction Fall Prevention Campaign

Fall accidents are some of the most frequent causes of injuries on construction worksites.  In 2010, more than 10,000 workers suffered injuries in fall accidents, and 255 people were killed in these accidents.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has now launched a new initiative to help prevent fall accidents.

The announcement was made in April 26 at the Action Summit for Worker Safety and Health.  The summit was held to commemorate Worker Memorial Day on April 28.  According to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the most memorable way to celebrate the lives of workers killed in workplace accidents is to make sure that other accidents are prevented.  Fall accidents account for one of three construction worker fatalities in the country.

The new initiative will involve a partnership of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda Program.

The federal agency plans to work together with labor unions, employers, trade groups and faith-based organizations to increase education initiatives.  There will be special focus on low-literacy workers.  Reaching out to low-literacy workers can be a special challenge.  These workers may not understand the construction dangers that they’re exposed to, may not be comfortable with English, and therefore, are often left out of fall prevention campaigns.  The initiative will promote the development of training programs that use simple strategies to prevent fall accidents.

The initiative will focus on providing employers with training materials that can help them prevent fall accidents involving ladders, scaffolding and roofs.  For more information, employers can refer to a special webpage that OSHA has designed to educate employers about fall prevention strategies.