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Annual Campaign to Prevent Fatal Falls kicks off

Safety advances have been made within the construction industry that make nearly every fatal fall preventable. In addition, federal regulations insist that these safety advances be properly utilized. Tragically, fatal accidents involving falls from relatively great heights continue to occur over and over again on an annual basis. In most of these instances, employers fail to outfit their workers with proper safety equipment and/or fail to implement other mandatory safety precautions.

For example, last year a young male worker in New York fell to his death from a height of 40 feet. He had been stationed on scaffolding on his first day of work but was neither given mandatory fall prevention training nor a safety harness before his employer directed him to work there. When he died, the 28-year-old had been hoping that this job would help him to support his wife and their daughters. Had his employer followed federal mandates and provided the young man with a simple safety harness, his life could have been spared.

In an effort to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Center for Construction Research and Training and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are kicking off their second annual Campaign to Prevent Fatal Falls.

The campaign centers on the core message that employers must “plan, provide and train” their workers. By planning in advance of any operation, employers can help to ensure that all mandatory safety precautions have been put in place. They can then provide their workers with necessary safety equipment and ensure that everyone is properly trained on how to execute their jobs safely.

One in three construction worker deaths is caused by preventable falls. By employing the message of this year’s campaign, employers can help to ensure that falls will no longer be the leading cause of construction worker deaths in the nation as they are currently.

Source: National Law Review, “The Cost of Falls and What You Can Do to Stop Them,” U.S. Dept. of Labor, June 3, 2013

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