Citing falls as the leading cause of death in construction, OSHA has launched a fall prevention campaign, emphasizing that these falls are preventable. OSHA first identifies the high fall construction activities as (1) floor openings; (2) fixed scaffolds; (3) bridge decking; (4) re-roofing; and (5) leading-edge work.
OSHA next states that falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through “three simple steps”: Plan, Provide, and Train:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely.
PROVIDE the right equipment.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.
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 through planning ahead, providing the right equipment, and training employees.
OSHA has created a new fall prevention web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls. As well as a joint website on fall protection at http://www.stopconstructionfalls.com that contains information from industry, nonprofit, and academic sources. The OSHA website also has materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.