<< Back to Prevention Video (v-Tool): Falls in Construction


More than 800 construction workers die every year while on the job. Falls are the number one cause of fatalities in construction. Falls cause one of every three construction worker deaths. These falls happen in a split second while workers are on roofs, scaffolds, ladders, bridges, and other work surfaces. But these deaths can be prevented. The video you are about to see shows how quickly falls at construction sites can lead to workers'deaths. The video will also show what employers must do so that the work can be done more safely. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace and required protective equipment. You'll see that using the right type of fall protection saves lives.

Please be advised. The scenes you are about to see deal with deaths at construction sites and might be disturbing for some people. All scenes are based on true stories. Two workers were framing the walls of a new two-story house with a basement.

They were working on the second floor near an open stairwell. There was no guardrail or floor cover, and the workers were not wearing personal fall protection. After framing one section of a wall, the workers raised it and moved forward to put it into place. While moving forward, one of the workers stepped towards the unguarded stairwell to hold the side of the wall section.

He fell down the unguarded stairwell opening. He fell 20 feet and landed on the concrete basement floor. He died from fatal head and internal injuries. Let's look at the events leading up to this tragic incident, and see how it could have been prevented. Originally, the workers were nailing in the boards to frame a section of the new wall, and the stairwell was not protected by a guardrail. Now, the stairwell is protected by a guardrail as required by OSHA.

As before, the workers are moving forward to install the completed wall section. This time, as the worker steps toward the stairwell, the guardrail stops him; he continues forward to place the framed section in place. Another way to protect workers is by putting a proper cover over the stairwell opening.

The cover must be secure. As shown here, the worker steps onto the cover and continues to put the section in place.

This example shows the importance of following OSHA's fall protection standards. These types of construction deaths are preventable. The fall protection measures shown here save workers' lives.

Use fall protection on the job: it could be the difference between life and death.

If you would like more information, contact OSHA at www.osha.gov or 1-800-321-OSHA that's 1-800-321-6742.