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


In the U.S., 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.

A worker was installing vinyl siding on a two-story townhome. He was standing on a ladder that was placed on top of a scaffold. A co-worker was on the scaffold cutting pieces of siding. The scaffold had no guardrails. The workers were not wearing any fall protection.

While standing on the top step of the ladder, the worker putting up siding overreached to one side and the ladder overturned. He fell nearly 20 feet and landed on the driveway below. He died later that day from injuries caused by the fall.

Let's look at the events leading up to this tragic incident, and see how it could have been prevented. Originally, the worker installing siding was standing on a ladder that was placed on top of a scaffold. This is a very serious and dangerous OSHA violation.

Also, there was no fall protection for these workers. OSHA requires employers to provide workers with fall protection when they are working on scaffolds more than 10 feet above a lower level.

Let's look again at the worker installing siding. But now, the worker is standing on a fully-decked pump-jack scaffold. It has guardrails at the top, middle, and ends. So, instead of being at risk from falling while installing siding, this worker is now protected from fall hazards.

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 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