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OSHA Launches New Construction Fall Prevention Campaign

April 27, 2012
At the April 26 Action Summit for Worker Safety and Health, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis honored Workers' Memorial Day and revealed a new OSHA campaign focusing on fall prevention in the construction industry.

The summit was held at East Los Angeles Community College in Monterey Park, Calif., to commemorate Workers' Memorial Day, which is observed annually on April 28 to remember workers who died on the job.

"The best way to honor Workers' Memorial Day is to make sure that another family does not have to suffer the pain of losing a loved one because of preventable workplace injuries,” said Solis. "Falls are the most fatal out of all hazards in the construction industry, accounting for almost one in every three construction worker deaths. Our simple message is that safety pays, and falls cost."

In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working at height, and another 255 were killed. OSHA's new awareness campaign will provide employers and workers with life-saving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs.

The fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. OSHA and NIOSH will work with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates to provide employers and workers – especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers – with education and training on common-sense fall prevention equipment and strategies that save lives.

OSHA created a new fall prevention Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. NIOSH and NORA also have created a page on the Centers for Disease Control Web site, as well as a joint Web site on fall prevention, which will be maintained by the Center for Construction Research and Training and that contains information from industry, nonprofit and academic sources.

"When working at heights, everyone needs to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

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