Putting Work-Related Falls Behind Us: The Application of Key Fall Prevention Practices and Guidelines

We’ve all seen videos and cartoons that feature silly slips and falls: Lucy pulling the football away as Charlie Brown aimed a kick; someone slipping on a banana peel; people slipping and sliding on icy surfaces; someone falling off a ladder, arms flailing wildly as they try to catch themselves. The truth is, falls are no laughing matter.

Workplace-related falls are the third leading cause of workplace death in the United States. Equally as alarming is the fact that they made up 22 percent of total unintentional deaths in 2018. There are similar trends north of the border, with over 40,000 Canadians experiencing similar injuries.


Keeping Things in Check: OSHA-Mandated Regulations


From a regulatory perspective, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published regulations to address these issues. Organizations are required to provide fall protection “at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six … Read more...

Learning from the Past: Building a Safer Environment for the Future of Construction

The National Safety Stand Down and OSHA’s National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down typically are scheduled for the first week of May, but as you know, 2020 is not a typical year. However, construction workers are considered “essential,” and many construction sites remain active, so the postponement of the Safety Stand-Down is no reason to postpone construction worksite safety!

One of the reasons OSHA and other organizations maintain a special focus on construction safety is because it is considered one of the deadliest professions, according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation, for example, continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for nearly one-third of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). Roofers are No. 4 on the list of the 10 deadliest professions, while iron and steel structural workers are listed at … Read more...

DOT’s New Rules for Crude Oil, Mysterious Factory Worker Deaths in China, Preventing Falls Through Building Design, and more on EHS This Week!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Work-related depression/stress the “elephant in the boardroom”
  • Emergency shower safety in the workplace
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) proposes new oil-by-rail rules
  • PHMSA proposes reduced requirements for transporting explosives
  • Young factory workers in China dying mysteriously in their sleep
  • NIOSH recommendations on preventing falls through building design

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • New proposed rules from the Department of Transportation on crude oil, flammable materials: Read them here.
  • Emergency shower safety protocol. Read it here.
Read more...

The National Safety Stand-down: Preventing Falls in Construction

Last week over one million workers and 25,000 businesses took part in OSHA’s National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This was a voluntary event that encouraged employers across the country to speak with their employees about fall hazards and fall prevention measures.

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, with fall prevention one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. This event was designed to help educate both workplaces and employees on ways that injuries and fatalities from falls can be prevented.

OSHA also provided eight helpful suggestions for how an organization could hold their own fall prevention stand-down:

1. Start early so the stand-down is organized, coordinated and everyone involved understands their role and duties.

2. Ask everyone involved with your project to participate (ex. subcontractors, owner, architects, etc.).

3. Review your fall prevention program for a more effective stand-down.

4. Establish … Read more...