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Falls - a deadly hazard for tower workers.

Lentz TJ; Casini V
Tower Times 1999 Mar; 5(3):5-6
In 1997, nearly 1,000 construction workers were killed on the job. Within the construction trades, roughly 40 percent of all work-related deaths resulted from a fall. And at least 45 structural metal workers, including steel erectors and tower workers, died from injuries at work. Four out of five of these deaths were due to falls. Given these statistics, it is not surprising that the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have been evaluating ways to protect tower workers from the fall hazards they face on a daily basis. One solution is to promote safe work practices, as NATE has done with the development of a safety and health manual and informational videos. Another strategy is to develop and enforce standards, as the OSHA Tower Task force is doing in considering safe methods to access towers during construction. Yet another approach involves identifying the hazards and creating increased hazard awareness through information campaigns and specialized training within the tower industry. NIOSH has taken this approach by investigating fatal falls for tower workers and developing recommendations to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. The goal of the NIOSH fatality investigation program is to prevent fatal work injuries in the future by studying the work environment, the worker, the task being performed, the tools used, and the role of employers and employees in controlling these factors. This information can be used by employees and employers, trade associations, and safety and health professionals to develop solutions which limit exposure to fall hazards in this industry.
Occupational-hazards; Hazards; Workers; Worker-health; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Occupational-health; Occupational-accidents; Accidents; Accident-statistics
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NIOSH Division
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Tower Times
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division