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OSHA Focus Four Part 1: Falls

By July 23, 2021November 27th, 2023No Comments

This blog was inspired by OSHA’s Focus Four campaign.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified four of the largest hazards within the construction industry through their focus four campaign; falls, caught-in or between, struck-by, and electrocution. These hazards pose a major threat to workers within the construction industry, and in 2009, these four hazards were responsible for 3 out of 5 construction worker deaths. We have put together this blog series so that this information is accessible to you, but for more information about OSHA’s construction focus four training and resources go here.

First and foremost, falls accounted for more than one-third of fatal construction injuries in 2009 and were largely from roofs, scaffolding, ladders, and girders although there are many more fall hazards within the construction industry. OSHA defines fall hazards as “anything at your worksite that could cause you to lose your balance or lose bodily support and result in a fall”.

While the industry itself is a physically taxing and risky business- that doesn’t mean that there aren’t proper prevention methods to increase safety on site. Some safety measures that can be implemented include guardrails, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, safe ladder use, and proper safety training. Additionally, in construction- OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at a height of 6 feet in general, and 10 feet for scaffolding.

According to OSHA, employers are required to do the following:

  • Provide fall protection
  • Ensure proper scaffold construction
  • Ensure safe ladder use and condition
  • Conduct worksite maintenance
  • Provide training

In regards to training, OSHA provides resources to instructors and students to learn how to prevent fall hazards and institute proper safety measures on site:

For more information and training resources go here.

Steve McCarty

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