Working in construction is risky, as there is a wide variety of hazards. Falls account for a large number of fatal and nonfatal injuries.
The majority of falls are preventable, and the key is to understand why falls occur and what to do to minimize the risks involved.
Common causes of falls
In construction, falls can occur on the same level or to a lower level. According to the Safety and Health Magazine, the underlying cause of all construction falls is the lack of planning prior to the start of work. As a result, fewer workers wear or use fall protection. Falls also occur more frequently for workers who work for a subcontractor compared to those who work for a general contractor.
Statistics and information related to falls
More than 50% of those who fall while working construction require immediate medical attention, while around 25% result in fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of falls occur in the southern region of the country.
More fatal falls occur among construction workers older than 45 years of age. Although Hispanics make up around 29% of the construction workforce, they account for 39% of fatal falls.
One of the most important things contractors and supervisors can do to prevent falls is to have a planning session before each job, no matter how big or small it is. One of the purposes of these sessions is to determine what protective equipment workers will need to perform the job safely. Companies should also provide adequate training on the proper usage of safety equipment.