According to OSHA and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace fatalities decreased 17% from 1995 to 2016. What’s shocking, though, is that OSHA citations relating to fall safety quadrupled in that same time frame and fatalities as a result of falls increased from 651 to 849 annually. While fatalities were decreasing, falls and fatalities as a result of those falls were increasing. Additionally, during that same time frame ANSI standards for fall protection increased from 100 pages to 1,000 pages and protective equipment for falls increased in sales from $300 million to $800 million. Despite all of this, workplace falls have still risen. Could virtual reality be the solution?
Recently, the American Society of Safety Professionals released an app called the Fall Protection Experience app and we expect that more fall safety virtual reality programs could be on the way. By using virtual reality, construction firms can have their workers practice in high-risk scenarios before being exposed to the actual risk. In addition, supervisors can use virtual reality to identify fall hazards and prepare a protection system ahead of time.
We know that our clients want to keep their workers safe and are doing all they can to reduce all construction hazards, fall hazards included. We also know that when falls happen, it can be devastating to our construction firm clients – not only are they concerned for their worker who fell, but they could be facing a financial strain as a result as well. Investing in the proper training and protections ahead of time is key. What is your construction firm doing to prevent safety concerns?