FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable.
Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:
This website is part of OSHA’s nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. The educational resources page gives workers and employers information about falls and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency.
We invite you to join in this effort by helping to reach workers and employers in your community with the resources you find on this site. OSHA will continue to add information and tools to this page throughout the year.
OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) – Construction Sector on this nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved. Here’s how:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.
When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
PROVIDE the right equipment
Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it’s still in good condition and safe to use.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they’ll be using on the job.
OSHA has provided numerous materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction. Falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan, Provide and Train.
Multiple printed copies can be ordered by any of the following methods.
- Visit OSHA’s Publications web page.
- Send your request via fax to 202-693-1635.
- Call 1-800 321-6742 (OSHA) or 202-693-1999.
- Send your request in writing to:
- U.S. Department of Labor
- OSHA Office of Communications
- 200 Constitution Ave., NW
- Room N3647
- Washington, DC 20210
- NEW OSHA announces national stand-down for fall prevention in construction[3/19/14]
- NEW CPWR: Construction Fatality Map
- NEW New Jersey Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE)
- NEW Fall from a Telecommunications Tower: FATAL Facts(PDF*)
- Complete Fall Prevention Campaign Web Page available in Spanish [en español]
- Ladder Safety Guidance
- Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely – Booklet (PDF* | EPUB* |MOBI*)
- Safe Use of Extension Ladders – Fact Sheet (English) (PDF*)
- Safe Use of Job-made Wooden Ladders – Fact Sheet (English) (PDF*)
- Safe Use of Stepladders – Fact Sheet (English) (PDF*)
- NIOSH Ladder safety phone app – English and Spanish
- Fall Protection: Roofing. Washington State Video.
- Fall Protection: Trusses. Washington State Video.
- American Ladder Institute Training Videos. Now available in Spanish
Prevention Videos (v-Tools)
- Falls in Construction
- Floor Openings
- Fixed Scaffolds
- Bridge Decking
- Leading Edge Work
- California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE).
Source: United States Department of Labor, “Welcome to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign” https://www.osha.gov website. Accessed August 5, 2014. https://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html
© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.