CPWR Maps Fatal Construction Falls

The two maps are part of the center's Campaign to Prevent Construction Falls.

Two maps (one shows U.S. construction fatalities as pins on a U.S. map, the other shows U.S. construction fatalities resulting from falls) have been posted by CPWR, the Center for Construction Research and Training, to call attention to this hazard and try to reduce the annual death toll. Fatal falls in construction are preventable through planning, training, and protective equipment, according to the center, which receives funding from NIOSH.

Center Executive Director Pete Stafford said the second map shows the locations of all fatal construction falls during 2011 that CPWR researchers could identify in official reports, popular media, and other data sources.

"The map offers a chilling graphic portrayal of the terrible toll these accidents take on the men and women of our industry. Almost every workday a construction worker somewhere in the United States dies as a result of a fall; such a tragedy probably unfolded not far from your home," Stafford wrote in an email from the center about the maps. He asked visitors to the campaign's website and the maps page to share them with friends, colleagues, and family members to raise public awareness "about the unacceptable number of workplace accidents that claim our fellow Americans in the building trades."

CPWR recorded 578 construction deaths, including 180 fatal falls, during 2011. In 2008, before the current recession reduced construction employment significantly, BLS reported about 1,200 construction deaths.

The campaign's page is www.stopconstructionfalls.com and the maps page is http://stopconstructionfalls.com/?page_id=4. CPWR asked anyone familiar with a construction fatality that occurred after January 2012 to email fatalitymap@cpwr.com with the date, location, cause of the fatality, and the sender's contact information for purposes of follow-up.

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis also called for action to prevent fatal construction falls when she spoke in April at the Action Summit for Worker Safety and Health at East Los Angeles College. According to DOL, she announced a new OSHA outreach and education campaign, saying, "This is how we can honor the fallen: by standing up together with courage and conviction and saying two words that will echo across this country: never again."

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