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K-State Today

June 6, 2013

Workplace Safety Month: Fall protection, scaffolding safety

Submitted by Lisa Linck

Workplace falls continue to be a serious safety concern for employers, including K-State. This is due to the fact that injuries resulting from falls often affect multiple body parts and require longer recovery times.

Although there are many factors that contribute to workplace falls — such as wet floors, poor lighting, cluttered aisles and improper use of equipment — most injuries are the result of falls to a lower level, which we were reminded of with a recent accident involving a K-State employee falling off a scaffold. Fortunately, the employee did not sustain serious injuries. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, statistics tell an eye-opening story. Both scaffolding and fall protection safety make their top 10 list every year with more than 10,000 scaffold-related injuries reported annually. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data has revealed that falls to a lower level have been the most frequent type of fatal fall in the workplace, with a majority of those caused by falls from roofs, followed by ladders, scaffolds, non-moving vehicles and building girders or other structural steel. 

Check out the following links for more information on fall prevention, personal fall protection systems and scaffolding safety: