Falls are commonly the most frequent workplace injuries, especially in industries like construction, maintenance, manufacturing, and mechanical work. In fact, according to numbers gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 680 fatal falls to a lower level in 2021.

According to OSHA, falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. These deaths are preventable.

All Industries20142015201620172018201920202021
Total Fatalities4,8214,8365,1905,1475,2505,3334,7645,190
Fatal Falls – Slip/Trip/Fall818800849887791880805850
Fatal Falls to a Lower Level660648697713615711645680

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Falls became effective on May 1st of 2023 and outlines the goal of reducing the number of incidents occurring in both the construction and general industries. From a business standpoint, implementing a fall protection program has the potential to keep your employees safe and reduce costs from claims or citations. Let’s take a closer look at this new NEP and how OVD’s risk consultants can help you remain compliant and implement best practices to keep your business thriving.

What’s the Goal of OSHA’s New Fall Protection Initiative?

OSHA summarizes its NEP with the following:

“This instruction provides guidance to Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) National, Regional, Area, and State Plan offices for implementation of an OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) to reduce or eliminate workplace fall hazards associated with working at heights. Considering that falls remain the leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries in all industries, the agency has determined that an increase in enforcement and outreach activities is warranted.”

Some of the highlights include:

  • It focuses on educating employers on how they can create a good fall protection plan.
  • OSHA inspectors can now visit any job site they see that has elevated work occurring.
  • If an OSHA inspector does not find anything out of compliance, the OSHA inspector may reach out if there is a best practice that the employer could implement as a safer alternative for employees.

As an added layer of protection, our risk consultants can assess your company’s fall protection program to help ensure it’s compliant with your state and federal OSHA standards. Not only can this help prevent falls, but it can help prevent costly citations.

The Cost of Fall Protection Citations

Citations for fall protection were the most cited violations from 2017 to 2021. These citations can be extremely costly, as indicated by the maximum penalties listed below:

  • Serious Other-Than-Serious Posting Requirements: $14,502
  • Failure to Abate: $14,502 per day beyond the abatement rate
  • Willful or Repeated: $145,027 per violation

Even one citation can have a huge cost to your business, so prevention is key. Our risk consultants can help ensure your program is up-to-date and avoids any extra costs to your business.

Get In Touch

At OVD Insurance, we want to help guide you to a more successful implementation of a fall protection program and the many ways we can help your business avoid risk. Get in touch with us today by filling out our online contact form.

For more information on this new fall protection initiative set by Federal OSHA, their initiative and resources regarding fall protection can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/fall-protection