NIOSH, OSHA Launch National Campaign to Prevent Falls

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were more than 10,000 construction workers in the private construction industry who were injured as a result of falling while working from heights on the job and another 255 workers were killed.

NIOSH, OSHA, and CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training—announced the launch of a construction fall prevention campaign. It is a nationwide initiative to prevent falls at small residential construction sites. Falls continue to be the leading cause of work-related injury and deaths in construction.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were more than 10,000 construction workers in the private construction industry who were injured as a result of falling while working from heights on the job and another 255 workers were killed. Latino construction workers also bear a disproportionate amount of the burden, suffering a greater proportion of fatal falls compared to their non-Latino counterparts.

"Through the partnership effort among stakeholders, we believe we can make great strides in addressing this preventable cause of many workplace injuries and fatalities," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "Safety is everyone’s business and this campaign will provide the knowledge and tools to help contractors and workers stay safe on the job."

"The busy summer months in the construction industry are upon us, and now is the time to ensure that workers and employers understand what is required to prevent falls," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "When working at heights, everyone needs to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely."

NIOSH and OSHA collaborated on the development of a poster and a fact sheet to promote the campaign. These and other materials are available on the NIOSH website (www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html) and the OSHA website (www.osha.gov/stopfalls). In addition, there is a central campaign website managed by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training (www.stopconstructionfalls.com), which provides those interested in joining the campaign additional resources and information on ways they can participate. CPWR also functions as the NIOSH-supported National Construction Research Center.

"Our industry has lost far too many people to fatal falls," said CPWR Executive Director Pete Stafford. "Based on national data we’ve collected over the years, we know that no matter how many construction fatalities there are in any given year, consistently one-third of the total are the result of fatal falls. Losing any worker to a preventable fall is simply unacceptable. That’s why CPWR is proud to be a part of this effort to raise awareness of this problem and, hopefully, reduce deaths and injuries from falls on the job."

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