Falls top the list of the causes of construction fatalities in the construction industry and account for one-third of deaths resulting from injuries suffered on the job.
Before the establishment of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency of the US Department of Labor, statistics revealed an estimate of about 14, 000 on the job deaths every year. After the establishment of this agency, workplaces are safer and the rate of fatal injuries has declined from an average of 38 fatal injuries per day to 12.
The workers and employers of the construction industry face the highest number of accidents that result in death, many of which are preventable. Uneven and unstable surfaces, edges, slippery floors and precariously positioned ladders are among the major conditions related to fall injuries.
In this regard, it is the responsibility of the employers to provide a safe work environment to prevent their workers from falling off elevated platforms or into the walls/holes. According to OSHA instructions, fall protection should be provided when at an elevation of five feet in shipyards, four feet in general industries, six feet in construction industries and eight feet in shoring operations.
The following is a list of safety tips for fall prevention in the workplace:
- Safety nets, harness nets, hand rails and stair railings should be provided at required jobs.
- If there are elevated platforms, floor or runways, the employers should provide guardrails and toe-boards.
- If there are any floor holes which a worker can accidentally walk into, they should be guarded with a railing, cover or a toe-boards.
- If there is a risk for a worker to fall in or onto heavy equipment or machines, irrespective of the height, they should also be provided with guardrails and toe-boards.
- The floors of the work areas should clean and dry to prevent from slipping
- Workers should be trained about the risks and hazards in a way that they can easily understand and follow them