State organizations advocating safety in the workplace pool their resources yet again to mount a nationwide campaign for the prevention of falls in construction sites. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the CPWR-Center for Construction Research and Training, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be leading the federally-funded effort to cover all US construction firms, including major Delaware roofing companies. The initiative was re-launched amid persistent reports that falls remain the top cause of injuries and fatalities in small residential construction sites.
Just like in 2012, when it was introduced, the national campaign for falls prevention will focus on raising awareness among construction industry movers, shakers, and insiders. Workers and employers will be provided information on safety and reminded time and again about the importance of protective gear while on the job. State safety watchdogs have strongly suggested harness-wearing and the use of retractable anchorage systems and lifelines (among others), particularly among more vulnerable employees like roofers who work at heights.
“Too many times we hear the phrase, ‘it was an accident.’ We know these incidents are preventable, which means that hundreds of fall-related deaths and thousands of injuries can be prevented. Our years of data collection consistently show that falls constitute one-third of all construction fatalities, which makes falls the leading killer of construction workers,” explained CPWR executive director Pete Stafford.
For his part, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health Dr. David Michaels said construction activity has increased over the years because of economic growth. The downside of this is the influx of workers that are not up to the task and do not have the necessary skills and experience for it. He believes seasoned Delaware roofing contractors and other construction owners in other states could change such grim statistics.
“Falls are the leading cause of death in construction so it is vitally important for employers to provide the right equipment and properly train their workers in a language they understand so they can do their jobs safely. Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved by planning ahead to get the job done safely,” Michael reiterated.
For companies involved in construction like Homecraft Inc., the renewal of the fall prevention initiative is always a welcome development in the industry. After all, as important as the projects such companies take are, the lives of their workers are even more so.