Falling, I’m Not Talking About Falling in Love Here…
As many as five construction workers fall to their deaths every week. According to OSHA data, one in every five work deaths annually are in construction. Approximately 33.5% of construction fatalities are caused by falls.
Construction worker fatalities have risen every year from 2011 – 2019. Falls continue to be the number one cause of construction worker deaths. Every one of those workers were loved by someone. Every one of those falls could have been prevented. Every one of those deaths could have been avoided.
I am sure someone reading this will think surely not all falls could be prevented. But according to OSHA every one of those deaths caused by falls could have been prevented by the proper use of some form of fall protection. That means someone, whether it was the worker themselves or someone else in that company, made the conscious decision to not take steps that could have saved a life.
In 2019, four out of the top ten OSHA citations were related to fall hazards in construction. OSHA citations can be very costly to the company, but those too are preventable. I know many workers and companies see OSHA and the OSHA inspectors as the enemy, but they are truly there to save workers from harm. OSHA’s website is full of useful information, go to https://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/ and you find their “Three simple steps to preventing falls”. Just three simple steps: Plan, Provide, Train. Three simple steps to save a life. Three simple steps to stay alive to see your loved ones.
Plan, make a plan prior to doing the job. Provide, provide the appropriate equipment for the job. Train, train every worker on the correct use of the equipment. Sounds simple, so why do falls continue to be the number one cause of construction worker deaths?
What reason could anyone or any company have for not providing and using fall protection? Is it the cost? What is the cost of a worker’s life? Is it that workers feel they do this work every day and nothing will happen? The sheer number of falls and deaths from falls each year should be enough to show otherwise. Afterall, I am sure not one of those workers went to work thinking they would fall that day.
At D.E. Gemmill, Inc we work hard to provide quality safety products at affordable prices. We feel a responsibility to provide products to keep workers safe whether they are on a road, in a warehouse or on a roof. That is why we have chosen to partner with FrenchCreek Production to provide fall protection. FrenchCreek allows us to provide fall protection made in the USA and training for proper use, both of which are imperative to keeping workers safe.
Let’s work together to keep falls from being the number one cause of construction worker deaths.
Written By: Colleen Gemmill