The #1 cause of fatalities in the construction industry is falls.  Improper ladder and scaffold usage, lack of guardrails, lack of fall protection gear, and failure to assess the hazards, are just a few of the causes.

The top 10 OSHA construction standards cited by OSHA in 2014 (the most recent statistical year) are as follows:

  1. Fall Protection, residential construction (1926.501(b)(13)): 19,367 violations
  2. Ladders, portable (1926.1053 (b)(1)): 7,192
  3. Fall Protection, guard rails (1926.501(b)(1)): 6,387
  4. Training Requirements (1926.503(a)(1): 6,175
  5. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102(a)(1)): 5,835
  6. Head Protection (1926.100(a)): 4,997
  7. Scaffolds, fall protection (1926.451(g)(1)): 3,708
  8. Scaffolds, aerial lifts (1926.453(b)(2)(v)): 3,438
  9. Fall Protection, low-slope roofs (1926.501(b)(10)): 3,361
  10. Scaffolds, access (1926.451(e)(1)): 2,993

Seven out of 10 of the top citations directly relate to falls.

Ensure that ladders, scaffolds, guardrails, and fall protection gear are regularly inspected and instruct workers not to use any equipment found to be damaged or in disrepair.  Train your workers in hazard recognition and instruct them to properly use equipment and to avoid putting themselves in an unsafe situation.  Ask your workers to report any and all unsafe acts and conditions, and then immediately correct any deficiencies.

For more information on fall hazards check the OSHA website or contact Don Ashton, Director of Safety Services, at dashton@ .