OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program on Falls

OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program on Falls

In 2021, falls to a lower level claimed the lives of 680 workers.

In the last decade, hundreds of workers have lost their lives to falls every year and even more have been injured from these preventable incidents.

In 2021 alone, 680 workers died from falling to a lower level, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To put this number in context, 5,190 workers suffered fatalities that year, meaning about one in 10 died from falls to a lower level. Though the number of lives lost to lower-level falls in 2021 was lower than it was in 2019, it’s the fourth-highest it’s been since 2014, per OSHA.

Per a news release, to lower the number of workers hurt and fatally injured from falls, OSHA recently launched a National Emphasis Program on fall prevention. "This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA's fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities," said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker in the news release.

When OSHA officers notice employees working at heights, under the program, they will have the right to open an inspection (which the area office management must approve of), OSHA said; and if no inspection is needed, “they will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.”

In addition, per the OSHA Instruction, Area Offices and Regions will be required to provide general outreach (not just to previously inspected sites) every quarter. These actions may include hosting seminars, distributing materials to certain companies, employers or other involved stakeholders and working with additional OSHA programs.

"We're launching this program in concert with the 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction and the industry's Safety Week. Working together, OSHA and employers in all industries can make lasting changes to improve worker safety and save lives,” Parker continued.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Industrial Hygiene Product Showcase

  • BAND V2

    BAND V2

    SlateSafety’s BAND V2 is the most rugged, easy-to-use connected safety wearable to help prevent heat stress incidents in the workplace. No additional hardware is needed to monitor large teams performing tough jobs across vast worksites. This physiological monitor worn on the upper-arm measures biometric data and sends real-time safety alerts when customized thresholds are met. BAND V2 includes a wide range of functionality such as worker physiological monitoring, real-time location status, automated work/rest cycles and more. Organizations can keep larger workforces safe with real-time, secure and transparent data. Stop by booth #408 at AIHce for a live demonstration! 3

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without needing to be recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Additionally, it is durable enough to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, which is why it has an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as Gas Clip Technologies’ new GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. 3

  • Kestrel Heat Stress Monitoring System

    Kestrel Heat Stress Monitoring System

    Ensure worker safety & regulatory compliance with the Kestrel® Heat Stress Monitoring System. With real-time remote access to critical data, leaders have the information to make timely decisions preventing workplace heat-related injuries and incidents. The Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker with LiNK connects via Bluetooth to a wall-mounted remote monitoring tablet showing current data. Use the Kestrel LiNK app to manage and log work conditions, view graphs, and create shareable reports. The Ambient Weather Network (AWN) online portal and app offer remote monitoring capabilities for 24-7 visibility, including a custom dashboard and the ability to set alerts for changing conditions. 3