NIOSH reported that falls are a leading cause of traumatic occupational death. Case reports of falls from workers using scaffolding were described. From 1980 to 1988, NIOSH databases indicated that 3,491 workers fell to their deaths while working for wages, and 17% fell from a scaffold. Workers who used suspension scaffolds (one or more platforms suspended by ropes) were most at risk. Falls frequently occurred from improper installation of scaffold equipment. Serious injuries or fatalities could be prevented by complying with OSHA regulations about scaffolds; protecting scaffold suspension ropes from heat or corrosive processes and sharp edges; providing personal fall protection, such as harnesses or guardrails; providing training to workers who use scaffolds; and inspecting scaffolds before each use.