An employee was removing a power cord from an aircraft. As he was descending the ladder, he fell to the ground and suffered two broken bones below the knee. He was hospitalized and required surgery. Later, the employer was notified that OSHA would be investigating the incident.
Ladder use and safety are seldom taken seriously enough. People assume that something as simple as a ladder does not require much training. However, the reality is that failing to properly train employees in the safe use of ladders is a serious problem. After all, falls from just a few feet can result in serious injury or death.
According to OSHA, 5,333 workers died on the job in 2019 (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — on average, more than 100 a week or about 15 deaths every day. About 20% (1,061) of worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2019 were in construction – accounting for one in five worker deaths for the year. The average cost of a workplace fatality is $1,200,000 according to the National Safety Council.
For injuries, the statistics do not get much better. In 2019, the National Safety Council calculated the average cost of a workplace injury at $42,000 each, this represents an overall non-fatal injury cost to employers of around $171 billion. This number represents over 2,800,000 non-fatal workplace injuries.
Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY 2020
- Fall Protection, construction
- Hazard Communication Standard, general industry
- Respiratory Protection
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction.
- Ladders, construction
- Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
- Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements
- Eye and Face Protection
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
If your company has had a serious on-the-job injury or fatality, contact Propel Consulting for help in dealing with any OSHA investigations. More importantly, place a focus on preventing future reoccurrence by retaining us to assist you with your ladder safety policy development, and with safety inspections, risk management, and legal consulting.