Preventing falls, particularly at construction sites across the Southeast, is the goal of a special emphasis program announced recently by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
According to OSHA statistics, 33 percent of all fatal workplace accidents in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi were caused by falls last year, and 70 percent of these fatal falls occurred at construction sites. During that period, OSHA's southeastern area offices investigated 83 fatalities involving falls; 58 of which were in the construction industry.
"Many of these lives could have been saved if a means of fall protection had been provided for these workers," said Cindy Coe, OSHA's Atlanta regional administrator.
OSHA's commitment to reducing fall hazards is a three-pronged effort. First, nine compliance assistant specialists, who operate independently of OSHA's enforcement efforts, will be available to help employers and employees recognize and prevent fall hazards. Second, OSHA will conduct educational outreach sessions. And finally, compliance officers specifically trained to identify fall hazards and perform on-the-spot inspections will conduct enforcement operations at worksites.
Coe is hopeful that providing fall protection training, raising awareness of OSHA's regulatory requirements, and increasing enforcement activity will save lives.
For more information about the project, contact OSHA offices in Alabama: Mobile (334) 441-6131, Birmingham (205) 731-1534; Florida: Jacksonville (904) 232-2895, Tampa (813) 626-1177, Fort Lauderdale (954) 424-0242; Georgia: Atlanta-East (770) 493-6644, Atlanta-West (770) 984-8700, Savannah (912) 652-4393; or Mississippi: Jackson (601) 965-4604.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])