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Fall protection lapses often result of poor planning: Report


The odds of using fall protection were 71% lower for individuals whose employer failed to plan, with workers hired by subcontractors more at risk, according to results of a survey released Thursday by The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Of 671 workers surveyed in 2021 on what is known as the deadliest safety lapse in construction — failing to prevent falls by enlisted fall protection measures — 27.4% pegged insufficient planning on the part of the employers as the primary cause of falls and 48.8% said no fall protection was being used at the time of a fall.

Workers who work for a subcontractor were 2.7 times more likely to die from a fall compared with those who work for a general contractor, according to the results.

Employee beliefs about their company’s fall protection policy are strongly associated with their use of fall protection, with respondents who thought fall protection was required eight times more likely to use it.

The survey also found that rescue training may help reduce fall-related deaths: the odds of a fall being fatal were 76% lower for workers who had self-rescue training.

American Society of Safety Professionals, which supported the survey, said it will use the findings to enhance voluntary national consensus standards that guide safety at construction sites and many other workplaces.