Fatal Falls in the Construction Workplace
Of those 5,250 deaths, 1,008 or almost 20% were in construction.
Of those 1,008 construction deaths 338 were as a result of a fall.
Thats more than 1/3 of all construction related fatalities.
OSHA Standards Violations
Fall protection in the construction industry.
The third most cited in 2019?
Scaffolding in the construction industry.
Ladders in the construction industry.
Fall protection training requirements.
Are you beginning to notice a theme?
Fall protection is often not properly used, or not used at all.
There is widespread incorrect use of scaffolding.
Ladders are very dangerous, this one I'm assuming you already knew.
Finally, and rather obviously, required fall protection training is inadequate and/or not being completed.
What needs to change?
The first step is education.
Fall protection/working at heights training is in many American and Canadian regions, woefully lacking. I have taken the course, and as anyone, literally anyone who has taken the course will tell you, it is a farcical joke. The closest I got to working at height in that course was when I walked down the stairs for lunch. The instructor handed out our certification cards before we even completed our self marked tests. If we want to reduce the number of injuries and deaths as a result of falls in the workplace, instructors are going to have to start failing people until they pay attention and figure it out.
The second step is enforcement.
Employers need to take the initiative and enforce OSHA guidelines. Not only will this save them money in the form of foregone fines, it will reduce the number of tragic falls we see on construction sites. Whats that? Tragic falls can cost money too? Well there you go, double whammy.
The third step is technology.
Construction as an industry is typically slow to adopt new trends. While it is important to know what you do and do what you do well it is equally important to figure out what you don't know so you can do what you do well exceptionally.
Innovation & Construction?
Its high time we catch up, the delta is measured in human lives.
Director of Operations
Gate Street International Ltd.
Let me know how you think we can make North American construction safer in the comments below or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.