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; :1-255
Falls represent a serious hazard to workers in many industries. Workers who perform tasks at elevation - workers in the construction, structural metal working, and tree trimming industries, for example - are at risk of falls from heights, with frequently grave or even fatal consequences. Many more workers, in nearly every industry, are subject to falls to floors, walkways or ground surfaces. These falls, characterized as fall on the same level, are responsible for well over half of nonfatal injuries that result in days away from work. The etiology of falls as injury-producing events is multi-factorial, and encompasses multiple mechanisms of exposure. Working at heights involves completely different fall risks than those found on workplace surfaces and floors. The different exposures represent serious safety risks in both cases, resulting in fatal and serious nonfatal injury. To address the various causes of multi-factorial events such as these, there needs to be wide-ranging and multidisciplinary injury-mitigation approaches provided to practitioners based on a wide variety of research methods. To advance our knowledge of occupational fall injuries, the International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection (ICFPP), held in May of 2010, was convened to provide a forum for researchers from NIOSH, its stakeholders, and the community of fall-prevention specialists and experts to present research findings, recommendations and expert advice on the latest tools and methods to reduce the incidence of injury from falls. At the conference, a wide variety of research approaches and methods were presented, and these approaches reflected the multidisciplinary orientation of the different stakeholders in attendance, as well as the individual interests and expertise of participating researchers.