What happened: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) May 1 began a new initiative to prevent falls on construction worksites.
What it matters: Workplace falls are the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries, according to OSHA, and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 – 13 percent - were due to falls. More than five percent of highway worker fatalities between 2017-19 came from falls, slips or trips on project worksites, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.
What’s next: The program allows OSHA compliance safety and health officers to open inspections whenever they observe someone working at heights. OSHA will focus on educating employers about effective ways to keep their workers safe. If a compliance officer determines an inspection is not necessary after entering a worksite and observing work activities, they will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.