Entry of inexperienced workers leads to increased efforts for fall prevention
"As the nation's economy grows, we are seeing a steady increase in new construction activity and an influx of new, inexperienced workers," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Falls are the leading cause of death in construction so it is vitally important for employers to provide the right equipment and properly train their workers in a language they understand so they can do their jobs safely."
An average of two construction workers die each day in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls on construction sites are the leading cause of death, accounting for 35 percent of fatalities among private industry construction workers.
The fatalities and injuries from falls are a "major, persistent, yet preventable public health problem," according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
NIOSH, along with the Center for Construction Research and Training and OSHA, have relaunched the National Campaign to Prevent Falls. The first year of the campaign saw the collaboration and development of a variety of resources, including a central website. The goal is to raise awareness and ensure contractors and workers have appropriate information to prevent falls.
"Too many times we hear the phrase, 'it was an accident.' We know these incidents are preventable, which means that hundreds of fall-related deaths and thousands of injuries can be prevented," said Pete Stafford, executive director of CPWR. "Our years of data collection consistently show that falls constitute one-third of all construction fatalities, which makes falls the leading killer of construction workers."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
June 24, 2013
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