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Nonfatal occupational fall injuries in the West Virginia construction industry.

Cattledge-GH; Schneiderman-A; Stanevich-R; Hendricks-S; Greenwood-J
Accid Anal Prev 1996 Sep; 28(5):655-663
Descriptive analyses were conducted using the West Virginia workers' compensation and supplemental injury records to assess nonfatal occupational falls from elevated work surfaces in the construction industry. These analyses are based on the 182 fall injuries reported to the State workers' compensation during fiscal year 1991 for which there were complete supplemental injury data. County-specific injury rates were calculated for counties with six or more fall injuries. Most of these incidents occurred among young white males who were employed as either craftsmen and kindred workers (48%) or laborers (33%) on non-union jobs in the general construction category (SIC-15). The counties with the highest injury rates that exceed the State rate of 5.9 per 1000 construction workers were located around or near the major industrial areas of Kanawha and Monongalia counties. Of the 182 claimants in the study population, one-third had been employed in their occupation for 2 years or less. For 60% of the claimants, the length of employment with the company for which they were employed at the time of the fall injury was two years or less; 26% had been employed for six months or less. Approximately, 63% of the 182 claimants had received some type of fall protection training. Ladders and scaffolds were involved in 50% of all falls. Fall protection devices were not commonly used by the 182 construction workers who worked from elevated surfaces. Fifty percent of the claimants were using tools or handling materials when the fall occurred. Fifty-nine percent of the falls occurred from elevated work surfaces which were relatively low heights (< 10 feet) where few safety regulations apply even though the potential for a serious injury still exists.
Accident-statistics; Accident-potential; Occupational-accidents; Statistical-analysis; Workplace-studies; Workplace-monitoring; Work-environment; Ladders; Scaffolds; Safety-education
Gwendolyn H. Cattledge, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, M/S 1133, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888
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Accident Analysis and Prevention
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division