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Knowledge at Work - UL Workplace Health & Safety

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Workplace Safety

Preventing falls in construction

September 16, 2013 - Posted by Jonathan Jacobi

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Risk-taking at heights can have fatal consequences.

Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to a lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in the construction industry, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In addition, fall hazards are frequently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • Fall protection was the most frequently cited standard in fiscal year 2012
  • Fall protection is the standard for which OSHA assessed the highest fines in FY2012
  • Other work at elevation standards, scaffolds and ladders, ranked in the top 10 for the number of OSHA citations and penalties issued in FY2012

In response to the pain and suffering represented by these statistics, OSHA has joined the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) in a campaign to raise awareness about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. Educational resources available through campaign websites provide information about how falls occur and ways to prevent them. Additionally, many resources at campaign websites target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency.


As part of its commitment to reduce pain and suffering from falls, UL Workplace Health and Safety offers interactive web-based courses for Fall Protection.


Topics: workplace safety