Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis observes Workers' Memorial Day at Action
Summit for Worker Safety and Health, announces fall prevention campaign
LOS ANGELES – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a new campaign led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. The awareness campaign will provide employers and workers with life-saving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and another 255 workers were killed.
Secretary Solis made the announcement at the Action Summit for Worker Safety and Health, which was held at East Los Angeles Community College as one of multiple events this week honoring Workers' Memorial Day. The Labor Department sponsored the summit in coordination with the University of California, Los Angeles' Labor Occupational Safety and Health program, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Workers' Memorial Day is observed annually on April 28 across the country to remember workers who lost their lives as a result of preventable injuries.
"The best way to honor Workers' Memorial Day is to make sure that another family does not have to suffer the pain of losing a loved one because of preventable workplace injuries," said Secretary Solis. "Falls are the most fatal out of all hazards in the construction industry, accounting for almost one in every three construction worker deaths. Our simple message is that safety pays, and falls cost."
OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. OSHA and NIOSH will work with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates to provide employers and workers ¿ especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers ¿ with education and training on common-sense fall prevention equipment and strategies that save lives.
OSHA has created a new fall prevention Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls. NIOSH and NORA also have created a page on the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html, as well as a joint website on fall prevention at http://www.stopconstructionfalls.com, which will be maintained by the Center for Construction Research and Training, that contains information from industry, nonprofit and academic sources.
"The busy summer months in the construction industry are upon us, and now is the time to ensure that workers and employers understand what is required to prevent falls," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "When working at heights, everyone needs to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely."
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.