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The risk of falls in construction and how to prevent them

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2021 | Construction Accidents

Working in construction is risky, as it is one of the industries that have a high number of work-related injuries and deaths. Falls are a common cause of injuries, and they happen in a variety of ways.

Many falls are preventable. All managers and workers need to understand what they can do to reduce hazards and the risk of falls.

Stats and information about construction-related falls

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls account for an average of 32% of nonfatal injuries and 37% of fatalities in the construction industry, which includes both government and private companies. For nonfatal injuries, the average number of days an employee was out of work was 28.

Some of the fall injuries occur from slips and trips on the same level. However, the majority of falls occur from a higher to a lower level. Most fatal falls occurred when someone fell from scaffolds, ladders or roofs.

Prevention methods

When it comes to fall prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses that companies should focus on training, planning and providing. To start with, employers need to train every worker on how to identify potential hazards, how to properly set up a site and how to use the equipment safely.

Before starting a project, and at the beginning of each shift, managers need to plan so the job is safe. This means determining what tasks the job requires, what the hazards are and what safety equipment workers need. The company should factor in safety equipment when estimating how much the job will cost.

The right personal protective equipment is essential for a safe work environment. Ladders and scaffolds should also have the proper safety measures to prevent falls. Managers need to provide the proper safety gear, such as personal fall arrest systems, to protect workers who work from heights.