During 2013, greater than a third of construction worker deaths were due to fall-related accidents. In addition, as many as 10 percent of workers may injure themselves in falls each year. Falls are considered one of the "fatal four" types of construction-site accidents that harm workers. Workplace fall accidents can include scaffolding falls, ladder falls and other types of construction-site falls. Falls can lead to serious injuries and damages for workers and their families.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has policies in place to safeguard construction workers who have to use ladders on the job. Its policies are designed to protect workers in North Carolina and around the country from falling from ladders that are positioned unsafely or are being used in unsafe conditions. Construction workers who are at least six feet high on ladders must be protected.
According to reports, the Obama Administration is addressing a common safety hazard through new rules that restrict electric utility workers from free climbing transmission towers. Most workers in jobs that require climbing must wear safety harnesses, but several electric utility companies allow free climbing. As an example, cellular tower workers have been required to use harnesses since the 1990s. It is not uncommon for utility workers to reach heights of 180 feet or more using step bolts.