CHICAGO, Ill.—The most common cause of workplace fatalities among residential construction workers continues to be falls from heights. An article in the July issue of Professional Safety identifies different solutions to overcome obstacles like safe and feasible points to anchor a harness being unavailable during certain stages of home construction, resistance to changing work habits or the lack of time, knowledge and financial resources to implement changes.
The peer-reviewed feature, Fall Protection on Residential Construction Sites, reports on a pilot study that identifies fall protection technologies, measures a small sample of carpentry professionals’ perceptions of these technologies and pilot tests two devices with several residential contractors. Solutions to overcoming the identified obstacles were also included: repetitive use of a device to lead to long term adoption of fall protection technologies; loaning of pilot-tested equipment to contractors to allow them to integrate it into their workplaces before they purchase it; and fall protection equipment rental companies that maybe to able to help contractors identify and locate the best equipment for their situation.
The primary concern of the groups surveyed for the study was the effect of such devices on productivity. “There is a learning curve when using a new fall protection device; this can add time to the home building process, which is a major concern in the current economic environment,” explained Vicki Kaskutas, one of the article’s authors, along with Bradley Evanoff and Harry Miller.
More information on the study and fall protection technology can be found here.