OSHA Continues Falls Initiative in Midwest Region

March 17, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the continuation of its region-wide special emphasis program aimed at reducing employee injuries and deaths in the construction industry resulting from falls, contact with overhead power lines, and the use of scaffolds.

Charles Adkins, OSHA regional administrator said, “Effective immediately, the initiative will operate in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. OSHA Area Offices will conduct extensive outreach to encourage voluntary compliance by employers and employees, and to increase community awareness of fall hazards and others related to scaffolds and overhead power lines.”

During the last 10 years, 39 percent of the fatal and catastrophic incidents within the three-state area occurred in the construction industry. Falls accounted for 38 percent of the incidents and 17 percent were due to electrocutions. More than half of the electrocution fatalities involved contact with overhead power lines.

Adkins explained that an increasing number of contractors are conducting construction activities on weekends under the assumption that OSHA staff would not be working. Within the past seven years, 15 percent of the fall, scaffold, or overhead power line fatalities occurred on weekends and in 2004 half of the fatalities occurred on Saturdays. “This year, our agency will randomly select three months in which to conduct inspections of active construction worksites operating on weekends that have fall hazards, employee exposure to overhead power lines, and/or scaffolding hazards observed.”

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.