Safety News Item – 02/08/08 – Falls in the senior population

– More than one third of US adults 65 and older fall each year.
– Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
– In 2004, 14,900 people 65 and older died from injuries related to unintentional falls; about 1.8 million people 65 and older were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls, and more than 433,000 of these patients were hospitalized (CDC 2006).

Safety News Item – 10/12/07 – PA Workplace Deathrate

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the workplace deathrate in Pennsylvania rose by 7% in 2006 over the previous year, to a total of 240. This was the highest number of workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania since 1997.
The most common causes of death in the 2006 figures were, highway accidents (20%), falls to a lower level (13%), being struck by an object (13%) and homicide (11%).

Safety News Item – 06/08/09 – Construction Site Fatalities

An analysis of the 2005 OSHA investigations into construction site fatalities reveals that the most common direct causes of death remain largely unchanged from 2004. The causes remain the same with only the rankings being different.
These five causes of death account for 40% of the construction site fatal incidents:
falls from or through roofs (>12%)
falls from or with structures (>9)
crush or runover of non-operator of construction equipement (8%)
crush/runover or trap of operator of construction equipment (~6)
strike by falling object or projectile (>5%)

Study Shows Average Fall Death Costs $1 Million

A study of workplace fall fatalities by Zurich Services, Corp. found that the average fall death costs $1 million – based on the lawsuits, fines levied, and loss of work, business opportunity and reputation.

The study found that the number of fall deaths along with the volume of fall related citations by governing agencies demonstrates that contractors are not doing all that can be done to avoid fall hazards to their employees.
The Zurich study emphasized that fall protection must be a critical concern durning the planning phase of every job and of every phase of that job.
Along with other requirements, all Fall Protection Plans must be prepared and implemented by a Qualified Person and be specific to each particular job and must be available for review at the job site while the work is ongoing.

Safety News Item – 12/08/06 – WA State Fall Statistics

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries reports that each year nearly 1000 Washington state workers are seriously injured in falls from roofs and ladders.

The agency provides tips on how to avoid such falls at Ladder and Roof Safety Tips.

Safety News Item – 12/01/06 – BLS figures on Falls

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2005 there were 255,750 days away from work in private industry due to falls.
This is an increase of 150 falls over the 2004 figure.

Safety News Item – 10/27/06 – Fall Deaths

According to the National Safety Council, based on 2003 statistics, all types of falls account for over 17,000 deaths a year.
Further, the NSC calculates that the chance of dying from a fall in any given year is 16,881 to 1 and the chance of dying from a fall over the course of a lifetime is 218 to 1.

Tip of the Week No. 130 – 10/09/06 – Warning Signs

Administrative controls are often needed when sudden slip, trip and fall hazards occur, and are essential before they can be minimized or eliminated.
Signs warning of these hazards can be very helpful if used sparingly and on a very temporary basis.
Evidence shows that exposure to a portable orange cone with a slip warning may only be effective for up to one day without reinforcement, such as a banner. Otherwise, signs are ignored if hazards are not immediately obvious.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 77.
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Safety News Item – 08/18/06 – Failure to Wear PPE Top Safety Problem

Occupational Health & Safety Magazine reports on a survey conducted by the Marlin Company that finds that US manufacturers believe that the failure of employees to wear PPE is the top safety problem.

Almost 700 manufacturers were questioned. The survey found that the manufacturers said the second safety problem was slips, trips and falls followed by back injuries from lifting.

Safety News Item – 07/21/07 – The Cost of Workplace Injuries

The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety Workplace Index for 2003 (most current statistics) indicated that employers in the US spent over $50 billion on wage payments and medical care for employees who were injured on the job.

The costs of training, safety equipment and process inprovement seem to be very reasonable investments when considered in light of this figure, even without regard to the human cost.

Tip of the Week No. 78 A – 07/11/05 – Fall Rate

Experience shows that a serious or fatal injury occurs an average of every two to three years in companies where workers are regularly exposed to elevated fall hazards.
Although this number may seem low relative to other injuries, the severity of fall incidents is usually very high and typically produces lifelong consequences.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 310
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Tip of the Week No.36 A – 08/16/04 FP program

The aim of an effective fall protection program is to increase the investment in planning elevated work and to teach and observe workers in safe methods. This will result in fewer fall victims and shrink the losses from workers’ compensation payout and third-party suits or subrogation.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 20.
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Safety News Item – 06/30/06 – Fall Injuries on the Rise

A study on the cost and impact of injuries commissioned by the CDC determined that in 2000 falls were the number one cause of all injuries requiring hospitalization.
The study took into account all falls including both industrial and residential.

All of the findings are documented in the book, “The Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States” by Finklestein, Corso, Miller & Associates.

Tip of the Week No. 93 – 12/19/05- Safety Audit

A program audit encompasses organized, periodic testing to ensure that the objectives of a fall protection program are met.

Safety personnel from another plant typically perform these audits. Using checklists, they ask questions pertaining to training records, work methods, incident records, content of training, remediation and work practices with respect to established fall protection and the planning for fall protection solutions in upcoming projects.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 314.
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Tip of the Week No. 89 – 11/21/05 – Injury Statistics

According to a 1981-1985 study, ironworkers’ accidents usually occur just before noon, just after lunch, or just before quitting time, when a worker’s personal guard is lower.
The Air Force collected similar statistics in a 1970-77 study.
These human fallibilities point to the need for more disciplined work procedures and workplaces that are designed to be more error-tolerant.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 299.
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Safety News Item – 09/09/05 – Fall Deaths in UK Decrease

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)announced in July that while falls from height continue to be the most common fatal occupational injury they did decrease by 7% in the year ending March 31, 2005.

The most recent year saw 220 fall deaths, down from 236 the year before.
During this period falls accounted for 24% of all fatal occupational injuries.

Safety News Item – 03/25/05 – China’s Mine Safety

For years China’s mines have been considered the most dangerous in the world. Official reports put China’s 2004 mine deaths at 6,000 while independent estimates put the number at closer to 20,000.

A mine accident this past February in northeastern China that claimed 214 lives has prompted China’s State Administration of Coal Mine Safety to admit to the equivalent of a $6 billion shortfall in the funds allocated for mine safety. The allocation of these funds has been ordered to occur within the next three years.

Safety News Item – 12/31/04 – Record Keeping

Federal government agencies will now have to follow the same worker safety and health recordkeeping and reporting requirements as those used by the private sector.

These rules go into effect January 1, 2005 – but violations will not be issued for the first year if it can be demonstrated that the agency involved was making a reasonable effort to comply.

It is hoped that these new requirements will improve recordkeeping and result in more useful data, which will eventually lead to the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses.

A happy, healthy and SAFE 2005 to all of our clients, customers, colleagues and friends!!

Tip of the Week No. 42 – 10/11/04. BLS work-related injuries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics study (June 1984) showed that 85 percent of surviving workers involved in falls from elevation during 1982 lost time from their jobs.
The average time lost by those workers was 31 days, 14 days more than the average for all other work-related injuries that year.
In other words, elevated falls resulted in a productivity loss of six work-weeks, nearly twice the average for all other work-related injuries.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 16.
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10/01/04 – Safety News Item. Workplace fall deaths down slightly.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for 2003 show that fatal work injuries from falls fell slightly in 2003 as compared to 2002. While the total number of fall deaths was less, the decrease was not statistically significant.

Overall workplace deaths rose slightly and the overall fatality rate of 4 deaths per 100,000 workers remained unchanged.

08/27/04 – Safety News Item. Ironworker death on bridge.

In a plea agreement, a steel erection company employer pleaded guilty to two criminal misdeanor California Labor Code violations for negligently violating workplace standards in the death of an ironworker doing bridge work. In addition, over $200,000 was paid out in fines and costs.

Section 6425 of the California Labor Code was in enacted after four workers were killed in a refinery explosion in 1999 and prosecutors had no way to charge the refinery owners.

07/30/04 – Safety News Item. Youth Labor Fatalities.

Per the Bureau Labor of Statistics Report on the Youth Labot Force:
Most youth (under 18) work-related fatalites in industries other than agriculture occur in the construction industry.
Of those fatalities, the majority are special trade construction laborers (such as roofers and concrete workers) during the summer. Approximately 60% were due to falls, electrocution or being struck by falling objects.

06/11/04 – Safety News Item. Employees place greater value on work-place safety.

A survey released in April 2004 by the Society for Human Resource Management and CNNfn reports that 62% of the employees surveyed felt the safety at work is a “very important” issue, as compared to only 36% in 2002.
The survey also found that women place a greater priority on workplace safety.

05/07/04 – Safety News Item. Falls remain number one cause of construction deaths.

As reported in the April 29, 2004 Occupational Safety & Health Reporter (vol.34, no. 18 BNA, Inc. publisher), researchers at the Construction Industry Research and Policy Center report that in 2002 falls from roofs or structures remain the top two causes of death in the construction industry.
Falls account for more than 20% of construction fatalities.
These statistics do not take into account fatalities of independent contractors with no employees or non-accidental deaths (such as heart attacks or suicides).

04/23/04 – Safety News Item of the Week. Hispanic construction workers face greater risks.

The January 2004 issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine includes a study concerning Hispanic construction workers and the greater risks they face on the job.
The study found that although Hispanic workers make up less than 16% of the construction workforce they suffer over 23% of construction related fatalities. Falls made up 37% of the fatalities to Hispanic construction workers.
The study found that the language barrier was the primary cause of the discrepency, but also that Hispanic construction workers were exposed to greater risks on construction sites.

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Tip of the Week No. 8 – 02/02/04. Industrial Falls.

Industrial falls are the number one cause of on-site occupational fatalities in the US today. Yet personal fall protection is the most underdeveloped safety program resource in the country.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 7.
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Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #35

Tip of the Week No. 263:
Same-level and stair falls are usually much more severe and disabling for heavier persons as well. Post fall suspensions in belts, including harnesses with belts, is much more distressing for heavier persons.
Excerpt from Chapter 6 – Active Fall Protection Systems. Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.

Tip of the Week No. 326 – 08/20/2012 – Fall Injuries

It should be noted that head injuries occur in approximately 10 percent of falls. It is the author’s experience that when illumination is decreased, such as at dusk or when a worker is coming out of bright sunlight and into a darker area, head injuries dramatically increase (for same-level or lower-level falls, such falls on stairs).

See “Introduction to Fall Protection,4th Edition” page 189.
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