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OSHA campaign hopes to reduce construction site fall deaths

Did you know that construction workers can suffer serious injuries, such as a back injury or neck injury, if they fall from just six feet above a lower level? The distance may not seem that great, but even so a fall, whether from scaffolding or a tall ladder, a serious injury can have many implications for the worker.

OSHA and two other occupational health and safety organizations are working together to make sure that construction sites have the proper equipment to reduce the risk of worker injury. Their Fall Prevention Campaign has a lot of information targeted toward employers.

Promoting worker safety begins with the employer, according to the campaign. OSHA provides three easy steps for employers: plan ahead, provide proper equipment and train workers on safety procedures. If employers follow these three steps, OSHA hopes to see a decrease in the number of construction deaths this year.

One of the ways that employers can keep their workers safe is to make sure that the workers understand the job-site hazards. This can help workers identify what type of protective equipment is needed, specifically when it comes to working from great heights. The next step would be to provide the necessary protective equipment for workers, and ensuring that they understand how to use it properly. Ultimately, workers can understand the hazards and how to use equipment correctly but still get injured if employers aren't providing the necessary equipment. The Fall Prevention Campaign reminds employers to have the necessary equipment available and accessible on site.

Hopefully these steps can help prevent some of the construction site deaths that can occur after a scaffolding or ladder fall.

Source: United States Department of Labor: OSHA, "Fall Prevention Campaign", accessed Oct. 21, 2013.

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