029 – Construction Accidents | Who needs fall Protection?

In Episode 29 of the OSHA Oops Podcast, join safety experts Michael and Rick as they discuss some common roofing accidents, fall protection requirements, how to avoid an injury-related citation, and who should be wearing a harness. 

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The $16k Citation

Did you know that every year falls account for more than one-third of all construction fatalities? In fact, one out of every four deaths in the construction industry are due to a fall. Most falls occur when roofers are working on sloped roofs or when they are working around other openings such as skylights.

To help prevent falls, roofers must be trained in proper safety procedures and always wear fall protection gear, such as a harness, when required to work on a roof. Furthermore, only qualified roofers should be allowed to work on a roof – in many jurisdictions, a special license is required to perform roofing work. And special training should also be provided for those who carry supplies to the roofers, even if they are not performing roofing duties.

This week’s featured citation cost one California company more than $16,000, and worse, an employee with extensive injuries after a 9 ft. fall with no fall protection.



Fall Protection in Construction

Construction workers are exposed to a variety of fall hazards while working at heights. Falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs are among the most common types of accidents in the construction industry. As a result, it is important for employers to provide their employees with adequate fall protection. There are a variety of fall protection systems that can be used in construction, including guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. Employers should select the fall protection system that is best suited for the specific task being performed and the work environment.

Below is a small clip from our Fall Protection: Construction safety lesson. For access to the full lesson and our entire safety lesson library, give us a call at 800-734-3574.

When is Fall Protection Required?

Under OSHA, employees should use fall protection when performing tasks on walking or working surfaces that have unprotected sides or edges that are 6 feet or more above a lower level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Wall Openings 
  • Holes
  • Excavations
  • Roofs
  • Hoist areas 
  • Leading edges

Note: In California, fall protection is required at 7 ½ feet

If your company needs safety training, along with OSHA defense and many other safety services, please call 1-800-734-3574 for more details.