Prevent Workplace Falls News Update

Fall Prevention Update from OSHA

US Department of Labor announces national emphasis program to reduce, prevent workplace falls, a leading cause of workplace fatalities. OSHA initiative aligns enforcement, outreach efforts to protect workers.

OSHA has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections.

The emphasis program will focus on reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities for people working at heights in all industries. The targeted enforcement program is based on historical Bureau of Labor Statistics data and OSHA enforcement history. BLS data shows that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 were associated with falls from elevations, about 13 percent of all deaths.

“This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA’s fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “We’re launching this program in concert with the 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction and the industry’s Safety Week. Working together, OSHA and employers in all industries can make lasting changes to improve worker safety and save lives.”

The program includes guidelines for identifying and examining fall hazards. Additionally, OSHA compliance safety and health officers can initiate inspections when they spot someone working at heights. Furthermore, an outreach component of the program aims to educate employers about best practices to ensure their workers’ safety. If no inspection is necessary after an onsite observation, compliance officers will provide fall protection outreach and leave.

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