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09-1008-PHI (osha 09-177)
August 19, 2009
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA urges construction companies in Southwestern Pennsylvania to take action to prevent worker falls

PITTSBURGH -- Following four fatal construction accidents that recently took place in southwestern Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is calling on construction companies to ensure that employees working above six feet have the proper equipment to protect themselves from falls on the job.

"Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry," says Robert Szymanski, director of the Pittsburgh OSHA office. "These recent accidents in Allegheny and Washington counties are tragic reminders of the dangers posed to workers when adequate protection is not provided."

There are a number of ways to protect workers from falls including guardrail systems, safety net systems and personal fall arrest systems, including properly anchored body harnesses and lanyards, as well as through the use of safe work practices and training. For more information on fall protection, visit OSHA's Web site at or contact the Pittsburgh OSHA area office at 412-395-4903. OSHA also has a hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.

OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting almost 39,000 inspections and finding nearly 88,000 violations of its standards and regulations in fiscal year 2008.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit


U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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