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PREVENTION OF FALL FATALITIES AND INJURIES IN CONSTRUCTION. INSERT SPEAKER NAME, TITLE, AND ORGANIZATION INFORMATION . Overview. OSHA Alliance Program OSHA Alliance Program Construction Roundtable U.S. Construction Accident and Fall Statistics Safe Practices Resources Summary .

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  • OSHA Alliance Program
  • OSHA Alliance Program Construction Roundtable
  • U.S. Construction Accident and Fall Statistics
  • Safe Practices
  • Resources
  • Summary

*Through the OSHA Alliance Program, this presentation was developed by members of the Alliance Program Construction Roundtable for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the official views of OSHA or the U.S. Department of Labor . (September 2008)

alliance program
Alliance Program

OSHA and the participating organizations define, implement, and meet a set of short- and long-term goals that fall into three categories:

Training and education

Outreach and communication

Promoting the national dialogue on safety and health

Sharing technical expertise, developing and disseminating compliance assistance products with participants

Provides OSHA access to millions

of employers and employees

John R. Miller, President, SIA.; Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary, USDOL-OSHA; and Richard J. Marshall, then-Executive Vice President, SIA; sign a national Alliance agreement on February 25, 2008

osha alliance program construction roundtable
OSHA Alliance Program Construction Roundtable
  • Purpose of Alliance Roundtable
  • Success of Alliance Program Construction Roundtable:
    • Fall Protection Workgroup
    • Design for Safety (DfS) Workgroup
    • Presentations
osha alliance program construction roundtable members
OSHA Alliance Program Construction Roundtable: Members
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association
  • American Society of Safety Engineers
  • Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association
  • Construction Institute-American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Independent Electrical Contractors
  • Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Sealant Waterproofing and Restoration Institute
  • National Safety Council
  • Sealant Waterproofing and Restoration Institute
  • Washington Division of URS Corporation
alliance program construction roundtable products
Alliance Program Construction Roundtable Products

Design for Safety Workgroup

Design for Construction Safety Web site

“Introduction to Designing for Construction Safety” presentation

Design for Construction Safety 2 – 4 Hour Course

Washington Division of URS Case Study, "Washington Group International Designs and Builds a Mixed-Waste Treatment Facility." February 2007

Fall Protection Workgroup

Safety Tips Sheets

“Fall Protection” presentation

Toolbox Talks

Picture of Toolbox Talks: Ladder Safety

design for construction safety web site
Design for Construction Safety Web Site

Screen Capture of Design for Construction Safety Web site


Alliance Program Construction Roundtable

Screen Capture of OSHA’s Alliance Program

Construction Roundtable Web Page

u s construction accident statistics 1
U.S. Construction Accident Statistics1
  • Nearly 200,000 serious injuries and 1,226 deaths each year
  • 5.5% of workforce but 21.5% of fatalities
  • Construction has one of the highest fatality rates of any industry sector


1 Bureau of Labor Statistics-2006

u s construction fall fatality statistics 1
U.S. Construction Fall Fatality Statistics1

Total Falls433

From roof edge 74

From scaffold, staging 70

From ladders 68

To lower level 48

Through floor opening, floor surface,

ground to lower level 31

From structural steel 24

Through skylight 23

From non-moving vehicle 22

Through roof surface, roof opening 20

1Bureau of Labor Statistics-2006


Fall Speed vs. Reaction Time

In 1 second your body

will fall 16 feet

Good body reaction

time= 0.5 seconds

Travel distance in

0.5 seconds = 4 feet

By the time you react your body will be

4 feet below where you were standing

When Do You Need Fall Protection?

OSHA’s Regulation 29 CFR 1926.501 (b) under Subpart M requires fall protection wherever the potential to fall six feet or more exists.

Fall protection is required when you are:

  • Near an unprotected roof edge;
  • Working in a unguarded mezzanine and balcony edges;
when do you need fall protection
When Do You Need Fall Protection?

Fall protection is also required in the following


  • Working off aerial lift;
  • Unguarded scaffolding 10 feet or higher
reducing fall fatalities and injuries
Reducing Fall Fatalities and Injuries
  • Design Professionals – Design Professionals’ need to be cognizant to design with health and safety in mind. Design permanent building features so that fall protection is not needed. This eliminates the chance of an accident if fall protection is not provided, provided but not used, or not used properly
  • Contractors– It is the contractor’s responsibility to enforce compliance with safety practices with regard to ladders, scaffolds, and instances where fall protection is necessary
  • Workers– It is the worker’s responsibility to apply the safety practices with regard to ladders, scaffolds, and instances where fall protection is necessary
types of fall prevention and protection systems
Types of Fall Prevention and Protection Systems
  • Passive Systems prevent falls by placing a physical barrier between the worker and the hazard (e.g. guardrails).
  • Active Systems protect workers by limiting the fall to a specified distance and also limit the amount of force the worker is subjected to in the event of a fall (e.g. personal fall arrest systems).
personal fall arrest systems
Personal Fall-Arrest Systems
  • A Personal Fall-Arrest System is a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level.
  • Any person ordered to work with at height who has an increase risk of falling off of structures/buildings should wear a personal fall arrest system.
personal fall arrest systems1
Personal Fall-Arrest Systems
  • Personal Fall-Arrest Systems, when

stopping a fall shall be rigged such that

a worker can neither free fall more than

six feet, nor contact any lower level.

  • Must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.
Personal Fall-Arrest Systems

A personal fall-arrest system shall consist of the following:

  • Anchorage points, Full body harness, Shock Absorbing Lanyard, Lifeline, Rope-grabs, Connectors

All components of the fall arrest system shall be fully compatible.

full body harness
Full Body Harness
  • Must be the right size for you.
  • The attachment point of a body

harness shall be located on the:

      • Rear D-ring between shoulders when working from a suspended scaffold or an aerial lift Front D-ring when working from a bosun’s chair.
  • Harness must be adjusted snugly starting with leg straps, then waist, shoulders and chest.
  • Used to connect a body harness

to a lifeline, rope-grab, or

anchorage point.

  • Shall be the appropriate length:
    • Bosun’s chair – 2 feet or less
    • Suspended scaffold – 3 to 4 feet
    • Aerial lift – 4 to 6 feet
  • Attach to:
    • Rear D-ring on harness between shoulders

when working on suspended scaffolds and

aerial lifts.

    • Front D-ring when working from a bosun’s chair.
  • Be protected against being cut or abraded.
  • Vertical - connected to an anchorage at one end to hang vertically.
  • Horizontal - connected to anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally.
  • Are used as a means of connecting other components of a Personal Fall-Arrest System.
  • Shall be protected from contact with any surface that may abrade, weaken, damage or sever it.
  • Shall be removed from service as recommended by the manufacturer.
falls from roof edge specify parapets
Falls From Roof Edge-Specify Parapets
  • IBC paragraph 704.11.1 requires that a parapet wall be at least 30 inches high
  • OSHA 1926 Subpart M requires a 39-45 inch guardrail or other fall protection
  • If the design professional specifies a 39-45 inch high parapet wall, fall protection would not be required
falls from roof edge1
Falls From Roof Edge
  • Other features that Design Professionals should consider:
  • Locate mechanical equipment away from the roof edge or on the ground
design permanent anchorage points
Design Permanent Anchorage Points

Design Professionals can design fixed anchorage points so that workers will have a convenient, safe point to tie off when personal fall arrest systems are needed.

design of anchorage points
Design of Anchorage Points
  • An anchorage is a secure point of attachment for lifelines lanyards or deceleration devices;
  • Must be independent of any anchorage being used for equipment tiebacks;
  • Must be independent of the means of

supporting or suspending the worker;

  • Must be capable of supporting at

least 5,000 pounds per worker;

  • Sound anchorages include certified

roof anchors as well as structural


falls from scaffolds staging1
Falls From Scaffolds/Staging
  • Scaffolds shall be fully planked
  • Scaffolds shall have guardrails or personal fall arrest systems
  • Scaffolds shall have a safe means of access
falls from ladders specify fixed ladders or stairways
Falls From Ladders-Specify Fixed Ladders or Stairways

Specify fixed ladders or stairways whenever possible

falls from ladders1
Falls From Ladders
  • Position portable ladders to the side rails to extend at least 3 feet above the landing
  • Secure side rails at top or use a grab device when 3 foot extension is not possible
  • Use “3-point” contact rule
  • Position base of ladder one foot away from wall for every four feet of ladder length
falls from height specify pre fabrication building components
Falls From Height-Specify Pre-Fabrication Building Components

Concrete Wall Panels

Concrete Segmented Bridge

Steel Stairs

Falls From Floor Openings-Guardrails

Perimeter guarding shall consist of a mid-rail, top rail, toe-board system. The top edge height of the rail shall be 42+/-3 inches and the mid-rail should be between the top and the walking/working level.

falls from floor openings1
Falls From Floor Openings

Contractor can:

  • Install temporary guardrails for temporary floor openings
  • Install a cover for temporary floor openings and holes
falls from structural steel1
Falls From Structural Steel
  • Avoid hanging connections; design to bear on columns instead using safety seats
  • Require holes in columns for tie lines 21” and 42” above each floor slab
  • Specify shop welded connections instead of bolts or field welds to avoid dangerous positions during erection
  • Consider approximate dimensions of connection tools to prevent pinches or awkward assemblies

National Institute of Steel Detailing and Steel Erectors Association of America. Detailing Guide for the Enhancement of Erection Safety. 2001

falls through roof surface roof opening
Falls Through Roof Surface/Roof Opening
  • Provide Dedicated Walkways to Access Equipment on Roof
  • Design roof structure so that it can carry stacks of roofing materials
  • Highlight hazardous and “no-walk” areas with red highlighting paint or other visual warnings.
fall prevention resources
Fall Prevention Resources


  • Alliance Program Construction Roundtable Web Page

  • Fall Protection Safety and Health Topics Page

  • OSHA’s Construction Pocket Guide


  • Design for Construction Safety Web Site

  • NIOSH Prevention Through Design Web Page

  • Safety in Design

Picture of OSHA's Construction Pocket Guide