It’s a sad fact: Falls are the leading cause of construction fatalities. In 2019, more than 400 workers lost their lives in falls on construction sites, while even more were seriously injured. Falls can be fatal even at low heights, so anytime someone is working 6 feet or higher above ground, they should be wearing fall protection.
The good news is that even though working from heights is inherently dangerous, employers can prevent falls by following three simple steps:
- Plan ahead to get the job done safely.
- Provide the right equipment.
- Train everyone to use the equipment safely.
That’s the message of our annual Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, this week, May 3-7. For the 8th year in a row, we’re joining employers and organizations nationwide to spread awareness of the dangers of construction falls and how to prevent them. We’d love for you to join, too! Find planning resources or an event near you at osha.gov/stop-falls-stand-down, and join the conversation online using #StandDown4Safety.
You can also explore our resources in English and Spanish to safely conduct construction work at heights, as well as learn more about required protections for workers in various construction-related jobs.
Help us share this lifesaving information and keep workers safe on the job.
Jim Frederick is the acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. Follow OSHA on Twitter at @OSHA_DOL.