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Causes, sources and costs of falls in a helicopter manufacturing plant.

Amandus-H; Bell-J; Tiesman-H; Biddle-E
Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-103, 2011 Nov; :32-35
A project was initiated with a helicopter manufacturing company to evaluate the reduction of injuries and return on investment associated with a company safety program of interventions targeted to reduce injuries in one of their plants employing approximately 3,500 production workers. Risks of falls from elevation include working on stands around the aircraft complete with stairs, standing on aircraft for some assembly work, working on ladders, and climbing onto and off of large production equipment and machines for processing parts and machine maintenance. Risks from falls to the same level include slipping on slippery substances including ice and snow in parking lots and outside walkways, tripping on objects such as tools and parts in walk ways, and tripping on irregular surfaces such as grates and holes in indoor stands and on holes and cracks in outdoor walking surfaces. Bell et al., [2008] used an epidemiologic approach to analyze baseline slips, trips and falls (STFs) in a hospital-based intervention study. They coded the event of STFs using the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) Occupational Illness and Injury Classification Structure (OIICS) [BLS, 1992]. They further categorized the cause of the first initiating event (FIE) and developed a taxonomy of characteristics of the cause of the FIE to supplement the OIICS codes. They reported a high percentage of STFs due to preventable conditions such as slippery substances on surfaces; surface hazards such as holes, cracks, and uneven surfaces; elevated edges of rugs and mats; and falling off chairs. They then implemented a program targeting high risk jobs and areas for hazard evaluation, raising employee awareness to the importance of preventing STFs, housekeeping practices, maintenance and repair, methods of floor cleaning to increase the coefficient of friction, and slip resistant shoes for targeted employees. Employing this approach, STFs were reduced by 50-60%.
Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accident-rates; Accidents; Accident-statistics; Epidemiology; Factory-workers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Ladders; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-programs; Surface-properties; Mortality-data; Morbidity-rates; Statistical-analysis; Surveillance-programs; Traumatic-injuries
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 1095 Willowdale Road, M/S 1811, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505
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Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection