The Electrical Worker online
October 2012

Spotlight  on Safety
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Campaign Seeks to Stop Construction Falls

Started in April by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the "Stop Construction Falls" campaign states its mission in the title: stop workplace falls, which account for a third of construction fatalities yearly, with 200 deaths reported in 2012 alone.

A partnership between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda, an organization that works to find relevant safety topics to research in the construction industry, the effort provides informative material for employers, explaining the proper gear and attitude needed to prevent on-site falls. More than 30 organizations, including OSHA, Harvard and the IBEW, joined to spread the message about preventing construction falls.

"It's all about reaching out and giving the information that we know," said Center for Construction Research and Training Executive Director Pete Stafford in a radio interview. "We know what to do, we just have to get the word out to the industry."

The goal of this national campaign is to prevent fatal falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds by encouraging residential construction contractors to:

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely.
PROVIDE the right equipment.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.

Along with serving as a hub for already existing safety information, the site also hosts a number of original materials produced by the campaign. Fliers for safety practices when working on roofs, ladders and scaffolds are available from the campaign Web site, in English and Spanish. Also on the site is an informative video titled "Don't Fall for It," which features stories from construction workers whose lives were permanently affected by their injuries.

Since the campaign's launch, the Center for Construction Research and Training has sent more than 5,000 videos to employers.

In the past year and a half, 36 falls occurred involving IBEW members, three of which were fatal, said IBEW Safety Department Director Jim Tomaseski.

"So many of our workers are in these conditions every day," said Tomaseski, "If you're not paying attention to the rules, following safety procedures, it's not a matter of if a fall happens, it's when."

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health plans to update the site frequently. The "Stop Construction Falls" campaign is available to view at