Fall Hazards & Prevention

Fall Hazards and Prevention

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for about 39% of all fatalities in the industry.

Fall hazards can be found on almost every construction site, including building structures, exterior construction areas, scaffolds, stairs, and ladders. Major types of fall hazards include:

  • Roofing hazards. These include unprotected roof edges, roof and floor openings, structural steel and leading edges. 
  • Scaffolding hazards. These include improper scaffold construction and support (e.g., lack of adequate scaffold planking, or lack of guardrail installation). 
  • Trenching or excavation hazards. These include inadequate support systems that can cause falls.
  • Unsafe ladders (e.g., ladders that are not firmly secured).
  • Unsafe stairs (e.g., stairs that lack stair rails along unprotected sides and edges).

In This Section

  • General Requirements 
  • Fall Protection Systems 
  • Fall Prevention by Type of Work

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