Safety Tips Construction Fall protection Injury prevention Slips, trips and falls

Construction safety: Prevent falls through skylights and other openings

Photo: Fertnig/iStockphoto

In 2021, 62 U.S. construction workers died after falling through a surface or an existing opening such as a skylight, according to data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

“Holes and openings are made in roofs and floors of buildings, both when they are built and when they are torn down,” CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training says.

Prevent injuries on your jobsite. Tips from CPWR:

  • Guard or cover all holes before you leave a work area. Your co-workers may not see an uncovered hole, which means they could fall through it.
  • Label all covers with the word “hole” or “cover.”
  • If you see a hole that’s uncovered, take the time to cover it.
  • Make sure hole covers can support at least two times the weight of your co-workers, equipment and materials. If a hole is larger than plywood, use guardrails. (OSHA requires covers of standard strength and construction.)
  • Fasten all hole covers with screws and/or nails. “If a worker steps on an unsecured cover, it can shift and the worker can fall through the hole and be injured.”

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