OSHA Urges Philadelphia-Area Construction Companies to Up Game on Fall Protection

When the Democrats convene in Philadelphia in two weeks to nominate Hillary Clinton for president, they might want to put in a word for local area construction workers.

This alarming statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor–five Philadelphia area workers in the construction industry have either died or been injured since June 13 due to inadequate fall protection.

The latest incident occured on July 7, when 37-year-old roofing worker Roy Chacon died after he fell 25 feet to the ground at a Haverford worksite.

This led to a call last week by  U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the region’s construction companies to ensure that their employees have and use proper equipment when required to protect them from work-related falls.

OSHA’s Philadelphia Area Office has conducted 129 inspections related to worker falls in the construction industry since Oct. 1, 2015. The agency found falls accounted for 40 percent of all fatalities investigated by the office.

In addition to raising awareness of the importance of fall protection, OSHA, the City of Philadelphia’s Licenses and Inspections and the Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health have announced a grassroots safety awareness campaign called “Grassroots Injury-Illness Prevention.” Launching this month, GRIIP will bring together employers, workers, labor union and other workplace safety advocates for a series of forums seeking a collaborative approach to address construction site health and safety issues.

There are several ways to protect workers from falls including guardrail systems, safety net systems and personal fall arrest systems, including properly anchored body harnesses and lanyards; and through proper safe work practices and training. For more information on fall protection, visit OSHA’s Stop Falls online resource or contact the Philadelphia Area Office at 215-597-4955.

OK, Democrats, the party of the working class, here’s your chance to give workplace safety the prominent place it deserves in our public policy discussions.

Here’s OSHA’s announcement from July 13.

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