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Deaths and injuries caused by falls through roof and floor openings and surfaces, including skylights.

Authors
Bobick TG
Source
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :14
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
20020894
Abstract
Occupational injuries and fatalities caused by falling is a serious problem throughout the U.S. Analyses of data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that during the 7-year period, 1992 through 1998, a total of 4,507 workers died as a result of a fall. Of these, 3,964 (88%) involved a fall to a lower level. An important sub-set of the "falls to a lower level" category involves workers falling through an existing opening in the floor or roof, or through floor or roof surfaces, including skylight fixtures already installed. During this 7-year period, 447 workers lost their lives by falling through something - 136 deaths occurred when workers fell through an existing roof or floor surface, 198 workers died by falling through existing openings (e.g., openings created for stairs, elevators, or skylights), and 113 died when they fell through already-installed skylight fixtures. In addition to fatalities, numerous injuries result from these "fall-through" events. Because of the circumstances associated with these incidents, the resulting injuries are among the most severe cases, in terms of median number of "days away from work" (DAFW). Analyses of other BLS data (i.e., Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses) indicate that 16,251 injuries occurred during the 6-year period, 1992 through 1997 (latest available data). The total DAFW related to these injuries was calculated to be 259,258. Data analyses revealed that the median number of DAFW (across all six years) were 13, 12, 43, 19, and 33 for falls through (a) existing floor openings, (b) floor surfaces, (c) existing roof openings, (d) roof surfaces, and (e) skylights, respectively. These analyses highlight the significance of falls through work surfaces, and suggest the need for injury reduction through modifying current work practices and developing appropriate engineering controls.
Keywords
Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Injury-prevention; Surveillance-programs; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Construction-industry; Construction-workers
Publication Date
20001017
Document Type
Abstract
Fiscal Year
2001
NIOSH Division
DSR
Source Name
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000
State
PA; WV
Page last reviewed: October 4, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division