<< 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 installing deck pans onto a bridge. They were not wearing any personal fall protection and there was no safety net below the bridge. One of the workers was preparing to weld the next deck pan into place.

While walking toward a deck pan that needed to be secured, the worker tripped and fell onto an unsecured deck pan. The deck pan slid away from her, creating an opening. She fell for 75 feet, landing on the ground below. She died instantly from her injuries.

Let's look at the events leading up to this tragic incident, and see how it could have been prevented. The workers had no fall protection, which OSHA requires the employer provide when working at heights of 15 feet and above.

Let's see what happens when these workers use fall protection. Now there is a temporary horizontal lifeline attached along the beams. Each worker wears a full-body harness and connects to the lifeline using a self-retractable lanyard with self rescue capabilities The horizontal lifeline system can use two or more anchors connected to one of the concrete beams. Once attached to the beam, a cable is run between the anchors, and the lanyard is connected to the cable.

As before, while walking toward a deck pan that needed to be secured, the worker tripped and fell onto an unsecured deck pan. The horizontal lifeline stops her from falling to the ground. The worker is lowered slowly to the ground.

Another way to protect these workers is to use a safety net. So now, when the worker trips and falls onto the unsecured deck pan, the net stops her from falling to the ground.

This example shows the importance of employers following OSHA's fall protection standards to ensure that workers are provided with a safe workplace. 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