As buildings continue to expand upward, the level of danger they pose on construction workers increases as a direct result of the inherent dangers of working several hundred feet from the ground as well as various other causes for concern related to carelessness and equipment malfunction (Hinze & Teizer, 2011). Current data from the construction industry shows that falls are actually the leading cause of death for various workers involved in construction projects, with a majority of fatalities actually occurring when employees fall through open-sided floors or through floor openings. While certain precautions are taken, the fact remains that to this day, nearly 150 to 200 workers within the U.S. alone are killed as a result of falls, with up to 100,000 injuries attributable to similar accidents (Hinze & Teizer, 2011).
Other fatalities within the construction industry occur as a result of electrocutions, being struck by an object, or being caught in or in between objects as they are being set into place (Hinze & Teizer, 2011). Due to instances such as this, industry standards have required fall protection to be implemented in cases where employees face the risk of experiencing falls of 6 feet or greater, as well as require workers to utilize protective gear and attend guidance seminars to prevent other such problems. It is based on this that this paper will present a rather brief presentation on the various types of fall protection currently utilized, the methods implemented to prevent electrocutions as well as the procedures that have been put in place to prevent equipment-related deaths. The goal of this paper is to show how such methods are used to save lives and to create recommendations where needed when the implemented procedures seem inadequate.
Fall protection can be defined as a method utilized in order to prevent a construction worker from experiencing significant injury or worse through the implementation of various safety precautions, procedures, and devices in the average construction site. This takes the form of two specific types, namely passive types of protection systems that do not involve the actions of employees and active systems that require
Beavers, J. E., Moore, J. R., & Schriver, W. R. (2009). Steel Erection Fatalities in the Construction Industry. Journal Of Construction Engineering & Management, 135(3), 227-234.
Beavers, J. E., Moore, J. R., Rinehart, R. R., & Schriver, W. R. (2006). Crane-Related Fatalities in the Construction Industry. Journal Of Construction Engineering & Management, 132(9), 901-910.
Hinze, J. W., & Teizer, J. (2011). Visibility-related fatalities related to construction equipment. Safety Science, 49(5), 709-718.
Janicak, C. A. (2008). Occupational fatalities due to electrocutions in the construction industry. Journal Of Safety Research, 39(6), 617-621.