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Suggested Practices for Preventing Construction Worker Falls

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022252/00001

Material Information

Title: Suggested Practices for Preventing Construction Worker Falls
Physical Description: 1 online resource (73 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: causes, construction, fall, types
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The construction industry has a disproportionately large number of injuries and fatalities as compared to other industrial sectors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration specifies the standards that need to be followed in order to reduce the number of work site injuries and fatalities occurring as a result of falls from scaffolds, ladders, leading edges, floor openings, roof openings, sky-lights and excavations as well as structural erections- concrete and steel. The fact that inspite of such rules and regulations being in place, there are unusually high number of injuries and fatalities, indicates that there is still a need to study and improvise the solutions to prevent such falls on a construction site. Accidents happen on the work sites as a result of negligence on the part of workers, hazards associated with the work, unsafe work-conditions and some other inherent and unavoidable factors. Even if the construction workers are specialized in performing the specific tasks, they are exposed to more hazards than workers associated with other industries or trades. It is important to note that accidents from falls are the most common cause of construction related fatalities in the United States, constituting 10% of all work related deaths and almost 38% of construction related accidents. But not all fall related accidents are caused by fall from higher elevations; a large number of these are due to equipment failure or improper use of safety gear while working on scaffolding, skylights, rooftops, ladders, and elevated floors. The more important fact is that most falls are preventable if proper safety precautions are taken and fall prevention techniques implemented. Most construction companies now have specific safety initiatives, injury-free work-place programs in place, but the threat of falls and accidents still continues to be a concern to the construction industry. This study will attempt to study methods to improve fall prevention at various stages of a project starting with designing and planning stages through the construction stage. The aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive fall protection guidelines which can be implemented by any construction company on their project sites.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hinze, Jimmie W.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022252:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022252/00001

Material Information

Title: Suggested Practices for Preventing Construction Worker Falls
Physical Description: 1 online resource (73 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: causes, construction, fall, types
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The construction industry has a disproportionately large number of injuries and fatalities as compared to other industrial sectors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration specifies the standards that need to be followed in order to reduce the number of work site injuries and fatalities occurring as a result of falls from scaffolds, ladders, leading edges, floor openings, roof openings, sky-lights and excavations as well as structural erections- concrete and steel. The fact that inspite of such rules and regulations being in place, there are unusually high number of injuries and fatalities, indicates that there is still a need to study and improvise the solutions to prevent such falls on a construction site. Accidents happen on the work sites as a result of negligence on the part of workers, hazards associated with the work, unsafe work-conditions and some other inherent and unavoidable factors. Even if the construction workers are specialized in performing the specific tasks, they are exposed to more hazards than workers associated with other industries or trades. It is important to note that accidents from falls are the most common cause of construction related fatalities in the United States, constituting 10% of all work related deaths and almost 38% of construction related accidents. But not all fall related accidents are caused by fall from higher elevations; a large number of these are due to equipment failure or improper use of safety gear while working on scaffolding, skylights, rooftops, ladders, and elevated floors. The more important fact is that most falls are preventable if proper safety precautions are taken and fall prevention techniques implemented. Most construction companies now have specific safety initiatives, injury-free work-place programs in place, but the threat of falls and accidents still continues to be a concern to the construction industry. This study will attempt to study methods to improve fall prevention at various stages of a project starting with designing and planning stages through the construction stage. The aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive fall protection guidelines which can be implemented by any construction company on their project sites.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hinze, Jimmie W.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022252:00001


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SUGGESTED PRACTICES FOR PREVENTI NG CONSTRUCTION WORKER FALLS By SUPRIYA GHULE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

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2008 Supriya Ghule 2

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To my wonderful pare nts and loving husband! 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my parents and my husband for their continued support and encouragement throughout this res earch as well as the entire mast ers program. Their love has helped me achieve this goal. I would also li ke to sincerely thank Dr. Jimmie Hinze (my supervisory committee chair) for his guidance and encouragement. His enthusiasm and dedication to the subject of construction safety made this a great learning experience for me. I would like to thank my committee (Dr. Svetlana Olbina and Dr Edward Minchin) for their guidance. Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude to the dean of my school, Dr. Abdol Chini; my advisor, Dr. Raymond Issa; and all my professors at the School of Building Construction for their guidance and encouragement. They have made this a memorable experience for me. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7 LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................10 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .11 Problem Statement ..................................................................................................................11 Scope of the Study ..................................................................................................................12 Objectives of this study ..........................................................................................................12 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................14 Overview .................................................................................................................................14 Construction Industry Statistics ..............................................................................................15 Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for Fall Protection ........18 OSHA Fall Protection requirements ................................................................................18 Guardrails ........................................................................................................................19 Safety Nets .......................................................................................................................20 Fall Arrest System ...........................................................................................................20 Analysis of Construction Worker Fall Accidents ...................................................................22 Causes of Fall .........................................................................................................................24 Types of Fall Accidents ..........................................................................................................25 Falls occurring on roofs ...................................................................................................26 Ladders ............................................................................................................................27 Scaffolds ..........................................................................................................................28 Sky-lights and Floor Openings ........................................................................................28 Leading Edge ...................................................................................................................29 Nature of Injuries and Illnesses .......................................................................................31 Designing for Construction Worker Safety ............................................................................32 Process of Designing for Safety for eliminating fall hazards ..........................................33 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................3 5 Phase 1: Study and analysis of all previous research and provisions for fall prevention .......35 Phase 2: Examinations of OSHA Data and Identifying the Types of Falls ............................36 Phase 3: Analyzing the Current Standards for Each Category of Falls from Various Organizations ......................................................................................................................36 5

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Phase 4: Developing Design and Constructi on Stage Suggestions for Fall Prevention .........37 Stage 1 .............................................................................................................................37 Stage 2 .............................................................................................................................37 Stage 3 .............................................................................................................................38 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........39 Need for Safety Program ........................................................................................................39 Identifying Hazards, Risk Assessment and Risk Control Procedures ....................................41 Risk Assessment .....................................................................................................................42 Risk Control ............................................................................................................................42 Training ...................................................................................................................................43 Compliance .............................................................................................................................44 Job Safety Analysis .................................................................................................................45 Designing For Worker Safety .................................................................................................45 Designing for Safety Suggestions ...........................................................................................46 Steel Design Suggestions ................................................................................................47 Concrete Suggestions ......................................................................................................49 Timber .............................................................................................................................52 General Design Suggestions ............................................................................................53 Ladders ............................................................................................................................54 Scaffolds ..........................................................................................................................56 Sky-Lights and Roof Openings .......................................................................................61 Roofing ............................................................................................................................62 Leading and Unprotected Edges ......................................................................................65 Floor Openings ................................................................................................................66 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................67 General Recommendations ..............................................................................................67 Research Specific Recommendations ..............................................................................69 LIST OF REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................70 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .........................................................................................................73 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Detailed breakdown of different types of construction falls (1992-2006) based on BLS data .............................................................................................................................17 7

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1. Fall fatalities on the basis of the type of fall description provided by Bureau of Labor Statistics (19922006) .......................................................................................................15 4-1. Tie-off to the Horizontal Member (Beam) .........................................................................47 4-2. Metal decking system. (A) View of a Metal decking system during steel or timber erection work and (B) Metal decking system during masonry work. ................................48 4-3. Scissor Lift Elevated Work Platform .................................................................................49 4-4. Provision of safety strap in a concrete column. .................................................................49 4-5. Catch Platforms. (A) Catch platform be low the work area and (B). Use of Catch platform while working on roof.. .......................................................................................51 4.6. Three-point rule for use of ladders. ....................................................................................54 4-7. Podium Steps/Platform as an alternative for work on ladders. ..........................................55 4-8. Podium steps which can be used for in terior works like drywall finishing, painting ........56 4-9. Well-designed Scaffold System .........................................................................................57 4-10. Stair-Tower with proper guardrails for access to scaffolds and upper levels. ...................58 4-11. Types of Scaffold not recommended for use on construction sites (A) Horse-Shoe Scaffold and (B) Ladder Jack Scaffold. .............................................................................59 4.12. Types of Cherry-Pickers and elevated work platforms which can be used for work at heights. ...............................................................................................................................60 4-13. Elevated work platforms. (a) Well-de signed Personnel carrying equipment with safety harness and Restraint system and (b ) Worker tied-off with safety harness and restraint line while loading the material on the platform. .................................................61 4-14. Alternatives for guard rails around the roof-opening. ........................................................62 4-15. Slide edge erected to prevent falls from roofs. ..................................................................63 4-16. Perimeter nets. (A) Perimeter nets inst alled on wall brackets in plan view, (B) Perimeter nets on wall brackets in section view, (C) Proper use of Safety Nets, (D) and (E) Safety Nets hung from cables in plan and sectional view .....................................64 4-17. Roof anchor used for tie-off during roof maintenance work. ............................................65 8

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4-18. Leading edge work.. ...........................................................................................................65 4-19. Method of covering a floor opening (acceptable and unacceptable practices) ..................66 9

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction SUGGESTED PRACTICES FOR PREVENTI NG CONSTRUCTION WORKER FALLS By Supriya Ghule May 2008 Chair: Jimmie Hinze Major: Building Construction The construction industry has a disproportionately large number of injuries and fatalities in comparison to other industrial sectors. The OS HA Standards specify the standards that need to be followed in order to reduce the number of work site injuries and fatalities occurring as a result of falls from scaffolds, ladders, leading edge s, floor openings, roof openings, sky-lights and excavations as well as structural erectionsconcrete and steel. The fact that inspite of such rules and regulations being in place, th ere are unusually high number of inju ries, indicates that there is still a need to study and improvise the solutions to prevent such falls on a construction site. The more important fact is that most falls are preventable if proper safety precautions are taken and fall prevention techniques impleme nted. Most constructi on companies now have specific safety initiatives, injury-free work-place programs in place, but the threat of falls and accidents still continues to be a concern to the construction industry. This study will attempt to study methods to improve fall prevention on construc tion sites and shall also attempt to examine the opportunities and impacts of designing work at height during the design phase of projects and of addressing the requirements of the falls prevention for a project during the procurement process.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Problem Statement In comparison with other industrial s ectors, the construction industry has a disproportionately high percentage of injuries and fatalities, accounting for almost 20% of the fatalities of all industrial worker s but employing only 6-8% of the industrial work force. It is important to acknowledge the fact that the construction industry ac counts for nearly 15 % of the workers compensation injuries. Of all the injuri es and deaths occurri ng on construction sites, falls are the single largest cause, accounting for a lmost 38% of the construction worker deaths. The OSHA regulations were promulgated to re duce the number of work site injuries and fatalities occurring as a result of falls. A significa nt portion of the regulations are focused on fall protection. Despite the OSHA regul ations, there are an unusually hi gh number of injuries which indicates that there is still a need to make fu rther improvements to prevent construction injuries. The purpose of this study was to explore the best methods of fall prevention for different types of fall hazards commonly encountered on the construction sites. Accidents happen on work sites as a result of negligence on the part of workers, hazards associated with the work, unsafe work-conditi ons, supervisory shortcomings, managerial mistakes and other factors. Even if construction workers are specialized in performing specific activities, they are exposed to more hazards than workers associated with other industrial trades. While the safety record of the US Cons truction Industry has been far-surpassed by improvements made through the efforts of variou s large construction companies through their safety initiatives and injury fr ee programs and other specific programs, the threat of falls is a continuing concern to the industry. The aim of this study was to devise means by which falls 11

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could be reduced through the implementation of specific techniques. This study examined how fall safety can be improved in the construction industry. Scope of the Study This study focused on developing means by whic h to prevent falls th at commonly pose a risk on typical construction projects, including but not limited to the following: Falls form Scaffolds Falls from Ladders Falls from unprotected elevated floors Falls from leading edges Falls through floor openings Falls through roof openings and skylights Falls into excavations Falls on the same level (often resulting form slips or trips) Falls during structural erectionsteel/iron and wood-framing work. This study will attempted to put forth methods to improve construction fall prevention techniques and the stages of work at which th ey should be implemented. The aim of this study was also to examine the opportunities and impacts of designing work at height during the design phase of projects and of addressing the requireme nts of falls prevention for a project during the procurement process. Objectives of this study Improve the level of compliance with falls prevention techniques within targeted construction sectors and sub-sectors. Improve the capability of builders and targeted subcontractors to recognize, manage and control fall-related hazards and risks. Increase builders and targeted subcontracto rs perceptions of the risk of detection 12

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Impose sanctions where non-compliance with fall prevention requirements is permitted. Identify and promote best practices and good innovations in managing and controlling fallrelated hazards and risks of the targeted work areas. 13

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Overview The construction industry has the highest number of fatalities of all i ndustries according to OSHA studies. Injuries due to falls have been the most predominant cause of injuries and worker fatalities in the US construction industry. The Bu reau of Labor Statisti cs reported that falls accounted for approximately 20% of all occupa tional accidents in 1985. By 2006, this number had risen to 38% of all occupa tional fatalities. OSHA (1999) repor ted that there were 3,940 fatal occupational falls from 1992 through 1997 in all industries. In 2006, ther e were a total of 1,226 fatalities due to falls in compar ison to the total number of fata lities of 5,703 industry-wide. The Bureau of Labor statistics indica te that falls from higher elevations have been on a steady rise in the construction industry, with total of 600 fall related fatalities in 1992 to 809 fatalities in 2006. This number of fatalities is surprisingly high when considering the regulations imposed on the industry by the government or OSHA and also the changes and updates in fall protection devices over the last several years. The main c oncern of industry professionals is to understand this increase in fatalities insp ite of all the technological advancements. Several factors need to be considered as possible causes. The first set of f actors that will be considered is to examine changes in the OSHA regulations and to analyze th eir effectiveness in reduc ing the rate of falls. The second set of factors would be to consider the possible role of designers in reducing falls and thereby designing for worker safety. A nother consideration would be to assess the role of construction companies and professionals in c ontrolling the falls on th e construction projects The last set of considerations would be focused on the workers to analyze how their actions and attitudes can help in reducing the number of falls and becoming effective in making construction work-sites safer. 14

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Several studies on the prevention of falls have been conducted since the 1980s. These studies have covered topics rangi ng from causes of falls, falls from falls from roofs, falls from scaffolds and studies of falls by type and scale of project. All Construction fatalities vs. All Industrial fall fatalities vs. All Construction fall fatalities0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 14001992 1994 1 9 9 6 1 9 9 8 2 0 0 0 2002 2004 2006Year All Construction Fatalities All Industry Fall fatalities All Construction Fall fatalities Figure 2-1. Fall fatalities on the basis of the type of fall description provided by Bureau of Labor Statistics (19922006) (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1992-2006) Construction Industry Statistics According to the U S Department of Labor st atistics, the construction industry has the highest number of fatalities recorded among all the industries. The cons truction industry employs about 6% of the U.S. industrial workforce, but has almost 20% of the fatalities, the largest number of fatalities reported for any of the indu stry sectors. In 2006, the construction industry recorded 1,226 fatal work injuries, the most of any industry sector. This also indica tes an increase of 3% from 2005. Fatalities among specialty trade contractors increased by 6% (f rom 677 fatalities in 2005 to 721 in 2006), mainly due to higher numbers of fatal work injuries among building fi nishing contractors and roofing contractors. This steady rise has been widened sin ce 1992 to 2003 (OSHA 2003). In 1992, there were 919 construction fatalities and 600 of those were fr om different types of falls. In 2006, the total 15

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number of fall related fataliti es was 809. This clearly indicate s that the advancements in technology and awareness of safety on construction sites, has not made a sufficient difference in the rate of fall fatalities. The number of falls reached a record high of 822 in 2004 and has since remained in that range. In 2005, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report ed that 767 industrial workers died in fatal falls, a 7% decline from the previous year. The number of fall related deaths in 2006 increased by 6% to 809 fatalities. Table 1 summarized information on total fall fatalities by year. 16

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17Table 2-1. Detailed breakdown of different types of construction fa lls (1992-2006) based on BLS data Year 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Total Falls in the year 600 618 665 651 691 716 706 721 734 810 719 696 822 770 809 Fall through existing floor opening 11 24 14 16 13 20 21 19 25 24 24 24 22 26 27 Fall through floor surface 4 4 3 4 7 6 5 4 3 3 7 Fall from ground level to lower level 10 4 5 7 4 4 3 7 5 6 4 4 6 8 Fall from ladder 78 76 86 97 97 116 111 96 110 123 126 114 135 129 129 Fall from roof 108 120 129 143 149 154 157 153 150 159 143 128 41 160 184 Fall through existing roof opening 8 6 11 18 15 20 12 14 15 11 11 10 16 17 13 Fall through roof surface 12 14 18 19 21 17 20 16 12 26 11 9 14 12 15 Fall through skylight 10 19 14 18 16 17 22 18 16 23 20 18 29 19 36 Fall from roof edge 44 38 41 36 46 56 47 70 69 55 62 67 71 65 82 Fall from scaffold, staging 66 71 89 82 88 87 98 92 85 91 88 85 90 82 88 Fall from building girders or other structural steel 37 40 34 34 38 48 44 49 44 41 41 29 25 25 33

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18 Occupational Safety Health Administrati on (OSHA) requirements for Fall Protection With the high number of fall fatalities, it is evident that efforts should be expanded to reduce fall fatalities. This effo rt should include various parties including designers, construction contractors, construction managers, othe r construction professional and workers. OSHA states that identifying fall hazards and deciding the best approach to protect workers is the first step in reducing or elimina ting fall hazards. There are a number of ways to protect workers from falls, incl uding conventional systems such as guardrail systems, safety net systems and personal fall protection systems (fall arrest systems, positioning systems and travel restraint systems) as well as through the use of safe work practices and training. The use of warning signs, designated areas, controlled access zones and similar systems are permitted by OSHA in some situations and can provide protection by limiting the number of workers exposed to fall hazards. Alternative systems may be mo re appropriate than conventional fall protection systems when performing certain activities. Wh ile conducting a hazard assessment or developing a comprehensive fall protection plan, thinking a bout fall hazards and planning for them before the work begins will help to manage fall hazards and to focus attention on prevention efforts. If personal fall protection systems are used, partic ular attention should be given to identifying attachment points and to ensuring that employ ees know how to properly utilize the equipment and inspect the equipment. OSHA Fall Protection requirements OSHA has recommended a step by step control of fall hazards which includes the following: Attempt to eliminate or substitute tasks which can lead to falls. Implement various engineering controls and mo nitoring processes to guard against falls. Keep workers informed and aware of fall risks and how to avoid them.

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Ensure the appropriate use of pers onal protective equipment (PPE). With the sole aim of reducing fall accidents on construction sites, the OSHA regulations were modified in 1996 with respect to fall a rrest systems and safe ty positioning device systems. As per the revised regulations, th e use of body belts was no longer an acceptable method of personal falls arrest system. For prope r protection for workers with risk of falls, body harnesses were required as a persona l fall arrest system. Since January 1998, positioning devices also became unaccepta ble as a method of fall prevention. Guardrails While installing a guardrails system, OSHA re quires the top rail height to be 39 to 45 inches above the working or walking surface, the mid rail at 21 inches above the walking/working level and a toe-bo ard at the floor level. Top-rails and mid-rails made of wire rope must be at least 1/4 inch diameter to preven t cuts and lacerations. Wire rope rails must also be flagged at not more than 6 feet intervals with high visibility. Sc reens, mid-rails, mesh, intermediate vertical members, or equivalent intermediate structural members must be installed between the top edge of the guardrail system a nd the walking/working surface when there are no walls or parapet walls at least 21 inches high. Sc reens and mesh must extend from the top rail to the working level and along the entire opening be tween top rail supports. Intermediate members between posts shall not be more than 19 inches apart. The guardrail system must be capable of withstanding a forc e of at least 200 lbs applied within two inches of the top edge in any outwa rd or downward directi on. Mid-rails, screens, mesh and every intermediate vertical member must be capable of withsta nding a force of at least 150 lbs applied in any downward or outward dire ction at any point along their length. Guardrail systems shall be surfaced so as to protect work ers from punctures or lace rations and to prevent clothing from snagging. When installed around openi ngs or holes, guardrail systems must be set up on all unprotected sides or leading edges. When openings are used for the passage of materials, the hole shall have not more than two sides with re movable guardrail sections. When 19

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the opening is not in use, it must be covered or provided with guardrails along all unprotected sides. If guardrail systems are used around floor or roof that are used as access points (such as ladder-ways), gates must be used or the point of access must be offset to prevent accidental walking into the hole. If guardrails are used at unprotected sides or edges of ramps and runways, they must be erected on each unprotected side or edge. Safety Nets Safety nets are required to be installed as close as possible to the working surface and not more than 30 feet below and shall extend at l east 8 feet beyond the working surface. They should also be installed with sufficient clearance and mu st withstand the force of a 400 lb sand bag (2832 inches diameter) being dropped from minimum height of 42 inches. Safety nets shall be inspected at least once a week for wear, damage, and other deterioration. The maximum size of each safety net mesh opening shall not exceed 36 square inches and shall not be longer than 6 inches on any side. The openings, measured center-tocenter, of mesh ropes or webbing, shall not exceed 6 inches. Each sa fety net or section shall have a border rope for webbing with a mini mum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds. Safety nets shall be installed with sufficien t clearance underneath to prevent contact with the surface or structure below. Safety nets must extend outward from the outermost projection of the work surface as required. Items that have fallen into safety nets such as construction materials, scrap, equipment, and tools, must be removed as soon as possible and at least before the next work shift. Fall Arrest System A fall arrest system consists of an anc horage, lanyard, and a body harness, and it may include a deceleration device or lifel ine. If a personal fall arrest sy stem is used for fall protection, it must satisfy the following requirements: 20

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Limit maximum arresting force on an em ployee to 1,800 lbs when used with a body harness; Be rigged so that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor contact any lower level; Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet and have sufficien t strength to withsta nd twice the potential impact energy of an employee free -falling a dist ance of 6 feet or th e free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less. Dee-rings and snap-hooks must have a mini mum tensile strength of 5,000 lbs. Snap-hooks shall be sized to be compatible with the member to which it will be connected, or shall be of a locking configuration. Irrespective of the pos itioning of the Dee-ring with the snap-hook attached, the Dee-ring cannot t ouch the outside of the keeper thus depressing it open. On suspended scaffolds or similar work platfo rms with horizontal life lines that may become vertical lifelines, the devices used to connect to a horizontal life line shall be capable of locking in both directions on the lifeline. Horizontal li felines shall be designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified pe rson, as part of a complete pe rsonal fall arrest system that maintains a safety factor of at least two. Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards that au tomatically limit the free fall distance to two feet or less shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,000 lbs applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position. Ropes and straps (webbing) used in lanyards, lifelines, and the strength components of body harnesses shall be made of synthetic fibers. Anchorages shall be designed, installed, and us ed under the supervisi on of an authorized person, as part of a complete person al fall arrest system that mainta ins a safety factor of at least two. Anchorages used to attach personal fall arrest systems shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and must be capable of s upporting at least 21

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5,000 lbs per person attached. Lanyards and verti cal lifelines must ha ve a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs. Each of these safety system s must be regularly checked for wear and tear, damage or deterioration. The Occupational Safety and Health Admini stration (OSHA) standards relate to the safety of the construction site, the implementation of safe work practices, and the safety of temporary structures, such as fall protection, la dders, scaffolding, and ex cavations, all of which are typically part of the constructor's responsibility on a project. Techniques for fall prevention are well known but are often not implemented eith er as a result of neglect or over-confidence on the part of the worker. Easy to implement meas ures like reducing work level elevations, proper maintenance placement and tying off of ladders, and the use of appropriate climbing techniques, personal protection systems will go far to prevent many of the ladder and roof related falls. The dynamic nature of construction work and the transi ent nature of the work-force make control of simple hazards relatively difficult. OSHA requi res contractors to develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive, written fall preventi on program that, at a minimum, complies with applicable OSHA fall prevention standards. Analysis of Construction Worker Fall Accidents In a study conducted by Hinze, et al. (Hinze, 200 3), an analysis of construction worker fall accidents identified two specific aspects relati ng to construction fall accidents. The first considered common causes of construction acci dents and any patterns related to them. The second investigated the effects of recent modi fications to the regulations by OSHA and how these modifications have impacted fall prevention in the industry. The study was focused on recent fall-related acci dents, as these accidents had occurrences after the recent regulatory modi fications had been implemented. The data that were analyzed consisted of 7,543 construction accidents of which 2,741 fall-related accidents. The study 22

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showed that there has been a steady rise in the percentage of fall-relate d fatalities from 1992 to 2001 and the proportion of a ll accidents related to falls rose from 34.1% in the earlier years to 38.4% in the more recent years. The factors affecting falls were: Time of fall occurrence, Types of projects Fall heights. Location of falls The study analyzed falls and the time of occurre nce. The results showed that the accidents peaked in the summer months, espe cially during the month of July and the rate of falls decreased considerably during the winter m onths, the lowest being in the m onth of February. This reflects the general trend of construction activities peaking in the summe r months and slowing during the winter months. With respect to fall occurrences and the day of the week, falls occurred uniformly during the workweek and dropped c onsiderably during the weekends, when the work is typically slow. The results also showed th at fall occurrences varied accord ing to the time of the day, with more falls occurring between 10:00 to 11:00 am and the least occurred during the lunch period from 12:00 to 2:00pm. Most of these finding reinfo rced the finding of a previous study by Hinze (Hinze,1997). Falls accidents vary with the kind of work and type of work being performed. That study concluded that most falls occur on new construction projects, followed by renovation and maintenance-type projects, with the least number occurring on demolition projects. The results of that study indicated that the number of falls on a project tend to be inve rsely proportional to the cost and scale of the projects. That is, proj ects costing less than $50,000 had 341 fall fatality accidents (28.10% of all falls) and projects costing over $20,000,000 accounted for 83 accidents (6.80% of all falls). Fall height was found to be related to the number of falls. Most falls 23

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occurred at heights lower than 21.35m (70 feet). The average fa ll height was about 35.4 ft and fall distance was about 34.9 ft. The study concluded that the implementation of fall-prevention techniques is too relaxed at lo wer elevations on many projects. Causes of Fall The most common causes of falls were: Nature of work performed, Locations of falls and Human Error factors. Lack of Training Lack of Safety Planning Negligence on the part of workers In addition to all these factor s, the number of falls would greatly depend on human factors such the age, gender and ethnicity of the worker s. The nature of work being performed (roofing, steel erection, work on scaffolding, etc) becomes a determining factor of the amount of risk involved. Roofing was the cause of more than 33 % of the fall accidents, followed by employees not providing personal protection equipments c onstituting about 13.5% of all falls. Over 11% of accidents occurred when workers were involved in non-typical types of tasks and safety for the particular activities was not adequately planned. Location was also a factor impacting falls. More than 28% of the fa ll accidents occurred during the roofing activities foll owed by falls from scaffolds (13%) and falls from ladders (11%).These locations account for almost 52% of all construction related fall accidents. The study concluded that provision of personal protec tive equipment would be effective in reducing many of these falls. Human factors such as age of workers, ethnicity and improper use of PPE by workers also contribute to falls of construction workers. All thes e findings were a part of a study in 2003 (Huang & Hinze, 2003). 24

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The conclusions and recommendations of that study included the following: Most falls are associated with roofing, st eel erection, scaffolding activity and exterior carpentry. Providing full-body harnesses can prove eff ective in curbing the number of falls. Lack of training is a common cause of falls. Fall prevention should begin by initiating the proc ess of fall prevention at the design stage. More diverse types of personal fall arrest systems should be devised Types of Fall Accidents In a fall study by Hinze and Russell (1995), of OSHA fatalities reported up to 1994, it can be determined that falls are the dominant type of accidents in the U.S. construction industry. The most common locations of falls on typical construc tion sites were: Off roof Collapse of scaffolding and off scaffolding Collapse of structure and off structure Through the floor opening, sky-lights Off ladder Through roof opening Off edge of floor opening Off beam support. That particular study examined 508 fall-related deaths and it concluded that 68 percent of all falls could be attributed to these 10 categorie s of falls. The particular research attempted to study a trend in construction fatalities on the basis of data collected in 1980, 1985 and 1990. The study indicated that in 1980, highest number of acci dents were related to scaffolding systems and in 1990, the highest number of accidents were as a result of improper and inadequate hazard communication systems. Figure 2-2 shows the most the percentage of fall fatalities according to the types of falls reported by BLS in the year 2006. The figure clea rly indicates almost 23% of construction accidents were as a result of falls from roof s, followed by 16% from ladders and 11% from scaffolds. 25

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from ladder 16% other 20% on same level 7% non-moving vehicle 10% from building girders/structural steel 4% from floor,deck 6% from roof 23% from scaffold, staging 11% from stairs 3% from ladder from roof from scaffold, staging other from stairs from building girders/structural steel from floor,deck on same level non-moving vehicleFigure 2-2. Fatalities by type of fall (2006) (Source: National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 2006) Falls occurring on roofs In 1998, Amarjit Singh conducted a study to analy ze falls on low-rise roofs, specifically on residential projects. That study examined the prevailing fall prevention regulations and those typically implemented by contractors and homebu ilders. The various fa ll protection systems analyzed as part of that study we re guardrail systems, PFAS with roof truss anchor system and the safe T-strap system, combination warning li ne/ lifeline system, combination roof jack and fall restraint system, use of scaffold and work platforms and prefabrication systems (Singh,1998). The study based on surveys and interviews conc luded that any safety system should have the following characteristics: Economical Flexible Passive Feasible Simple to implement and use Protective with respect to the most common fall hazards. 26

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The results indicated that of all the systems analyzed, prefabrication systems seemed to be the most effective method of fall protection, follow ed by fall arrest systems and its variations. If the prefabrication systems were modified for use over the entire roof syst em assembly it proved to be not only very effective but also ex tremely economical, feasible, passive yet highly protective and simple to install and use. PFAS and their variants were also found to be a fairly economical and protective option but were not fo und to be a particularly favorable alternative with the workers as these systems have a low de gree of passivity. Thirdly, the roof jack system was found to be one which provides sufficient pr otection but did not prov e to be an economical and flexible alternative. In the study on fall protection on low-sloped r oofs, specifically after construction, the focus was on the hazards of roof access and e dge protection (Singh, 2000) The study suggested the use of permanent access methods like stairwel ls, ladder systems or ramps complete with guardrails, handrails and platforms. If a PFAS is to be used during roof acc ess, a ladder safety system is recommended. The best method of protection from falls while working along edges was found to be the use of guardrails, safety nets and fall arrest systems. The key is to identify the risk of falls and then provide appropriate protective measures to prevent the falls. Ladders OSHA requires specific types of ladders to be used. Persons working on ladders should always face the ladder, and at all times maintain a three point contac t with the ladder. Ensure that the ladder is set up with 4 to 1 slope to obtai n the most stable position and stabilize the ladder using appropriate ladder footings. Workers must avoid standing on two steps of a step ladder. Regular or extension ladders sha ll always extend at least 3 feet above the upper la nding surface. 27

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In a study of falls from ladders by OSHA in 1991 and 1996, it was concluded that falls from ladders constituted 20 per cent of all disabling falls in the U.S. construction industry. Another study concluded that 60 percent of falls occurred wh ile the employee was standing on the ladder, 26% of the falls occurred while the employee was descending the ladder, and 14% of the ladder falls occurred while the employee was ascendi ng the ladder (OSHA, 1991). Scaffolds OSHA requires the following while using scaffolding systems: The footing for scaffolds shall be sound, ri gid, and be capable of carrying the maximum intended load without settling or failure. Scaffolds shall be assembled and placed in the presence of authorized persons. Guardrails and toe boards shall be installed on all open sides and ends of platforms more than 10 feet above the ground or floor level. Th e only exception in this case shall be needle beam scaffolds and floats. Scaffolds 4 10 feet in height having a minimum horizontal dimension in either direction of less than 45 inches, shall have standard guardrails installed on all open sides and ends of the platform. Scaffolds and their components must be able to withstand at least 4 times the maximum intended load. All planking or platforms must be overla pped (minimum 12 inches) and secured from movement. An access ladder or equivalent safe access must be provided. Planks must extend over their end supports not less than 6 inches or more than 18 inches. The poles, legs, or uprights of scaffolds must be plum b, and securely and rigidly braced to prevent swaying and displacement. Overhead protection must be provided while working in areas exposed to overhead hazards. Slippery conditions on scaffolds shall be eliminated immediately after they occur. Sky-lights and Floor Openings While working around sky-lights and floor openings, OSHA requires the following: The worksite shall be inspected by an authori zed person before the work beings so as to identify fall hazards and to determine the a ppropriate fall prevention system for workers. While working around skylights, roof and floor openings, there shall be provision of one of the appropriate fall prevention systems that use one of the following: Covers or screens Railings or guardrails 28

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PFAS, including a full-body harness, lanyard, co nnectors and appropriate anchorage points (tie-offs). Workers associated with this type of work shall be trained to recognize fall hazards associated with this work and shall be trained in the correct fall prevention procedures. In a study to examine the fall accidents due to skylights and roof openings, it was found that there have been 55-75 such fatalities each year since 1980 (N IOSH Publication # 156, 2004). The study concluded that employers should work towards providing more protection for their workers by instituting a comprehensive fall-protection program. Some of the key requirements include developing a site-specific fall protection plan ; securely covering holes and openings; installing guardrails, sa fety nets, or sky light protec tion systems; providing workers with personal fall-arrest equipment and provi ding work-site supervisors, employees with appropriate fall-relate d safety training. Leading Edge Each employee who is constructi ng a leading edge 6 feet or mo re above lower levels shall be protected by either a guardrail system, safety ne t system, or personal fall arrest system. If the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to implement these systems, the employer must develop and impl ement a fall protection plan that meets OSHA regulations. In addition to this, if a guardrail syst em is chosen to provide the fall protection, and a controlled access zone has already been establis hed for leading edge work, the control line may be used in lieu of a guardrail along th e edge that parallels the leading edge. 29

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Falls 31% Transportation 28% Exposure 15% Other 6% Contact w/ objects 20% Falls Transportation Exposure Other Contact w/ objects Figure 2-3. Distribution of lead ing causes of deaths from in juries in construction (1999) In a study conducted by Hinze and Huang (2003) analyzed fall accid ents from 1992 to 2001. They observed that 2,741 fall accidents resulted in 2,995 injuries. The most commonly injured workers were construction laborers, roofers, carpenters, st ructural metal workers, drywall installers, plumbers and pipe fitters. In another study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, it was observed that falls constituted 31% of the fatal injuries and 21% of the nonfatal injuries in 1999 (Figure 2-3) Of these, 98% of the fatal falls we re to a lower level, co mpared with 56% of the nonfatal falls. The most common types of injuries resulting in deaths are from multiple head injuries, traumatic injuries, and massive internal injuries making up nearly 60% of the fatal injuries. The most common type of injuries as a result of falls include concu ssions, fractures and bruises or abrasions, while those as a result of falls specifically from roofs are fractures, sprains and strains. The analysis of all fall accide nts from 1990 to 2001 indicated that half of all the injured persons, received head injuries and about one-thi rd of them received multiple injuries. Other body parts that typically received injuries were chest, neck, back, abdomen and legs. One of the 30

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most important findings of the st udy was that about two-thirds of the workers involved in falls were killed. Nature of Injuries and Illnesses Nature of injury or illness as defined by Bu reau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2002) is the principal physical characteristic of a disabling condition. The BLS has broken the various types of falls into eight major categories: Sprains and strains Fractures Cuts and punctures Bruises Heat burns Multiple traumatic injuries Back pain and All other natures In the study, Occupational Injuri es and Fatalities in the Roo ng Contracting Industry, conducted at the University of We stern Michigan, roofing injuries accounted for 36% of the total cases in 1999. Strains were the result of overstretched or torn muscles, and sprains were the result of torn ligaments. Other significant types of injuries were cuts and punctures with 14% of the total cases and fractures with 11%. In additi on to these injuries, back injuries accounted for 25% of the total injuries, and the other types of injuries included fractures (7%), burns (7%) and eye injuries (5%). With respect to the age group of the workers involved in the accidents, it was found that most workers were between 31 to 40 years of age and the proportion of workers involved in accidents declines significantly with increase in age. Other factors associat ed with the number of falls and accidents were ge nder of the workers, ethnic ity and the trade (Hinze 2003). 31

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Designing for Construction Worker Safety Fall protection should ideally begin at the de sign stage and it should be the duty of the designers to work on the design with the aim of providing for worker safety. If the designers would incorporate certain require ments in the design to initiate the safety effort from the beginning of the project, it would greatly benefit the worker safety. Designing for construction safety as an intervention is supported by the hier archy of controls common to the safety and health professions which identifi es designing to eliminate or a void hazards as the preferable means for reducing risk (Manuele 1997). Traditionally, the role of the design profe ssional has always been limited to designing a building, so that it conforms to the required engi neering practices, local building codes, and one that complies with the requirement s of the owner/developer. The sa fety of construction workers has always been considered the dut y of the contractors. Recent st udies have indicated that design professionals can influence worker safety by making modifications in the design and planning stages of a project. This would result in lesser decision fewer safety issues to be addressed by contractors and better safe ty conditions for workers. Research presented by Behm (Behm, 2005) s uggests that designers can have a strong influence on construction safety. In a 1991 study conducted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions it was found that about 60% of the fatal accidents in construction were the result of d ecisions made before the site work began. In another study by Gambatese (2005), designers who were interviewed admitted that there exists a gap between the design process and actua l construction. The designers often said that they appreciated the inputs they receive from constructors with respect to the location of valves, use of stairs instead of ladders and such othe r design decisions. The three-dimensional vision of the constructors was found to be extr emely beneficial to designers. 32

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Another study performed by Hinze & Gambates e (1997) showed that there was increasing awareness about the need for designing for worker safety. Discussions with owners highlighted the fact that the costs of construction accidents a nd injuries added to the construction costs, and as a result, they are becoming more demanding with respect to worker safety provisions. This insistence on the part of the owners has prove n to be ineffective in bringing the design community to focus on this problem, primarily becau se of the liability issues that accompany this increased responsibility. The involvement of designers in the process of worker safety would improve the overall safety on the work-site, mitigate common safety hazards and reduce the number of worker injuries (Hinze & Gambatese, 1997). The design r ecommendations developed in that study were developed through inputs from both design professi onals and construction professionals, but the majority came from construction indust ry professionals. As many as 400 design recommendations were developed and with these inputs, a software tool was developed for use by construction professionals as a guide fo r improving construction job-site safety. Owners are now more willing to focus on pla nning for better safety provisions for workers on their job-sites and require the contractors a nd designers to work in tandem to develop a comprehensive worker safety program. This effort has yet to be initia ted on the industry-wide scale and needs to be taken up by all the partie s involved in the constr uction process owners, designers and contractors along with construction workers. Process of Designing for Safety for eliminating fall hazards John W. Mroszczyk (Mroszczyk, 2002) described Designing for Safety (DFS) as a process that incorporates hazard analysis at the beginning of a design. Identify the hazard Apply engineering measures to eliminate the risk. 33

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If not, then apply measures to reduce the risk/hazard by using safety and protective devices. If risk cannot be reduced with the use of safety devices, then reduce risk by warnings, and by providing extra instructions and training to the workers. Designing for construction safety can influe nce design decisions that eliminate or significantly reduce the need for fall protection systems during c onstruction and maintenance. It requires the ability to identify potential hazards associated with construction and maintenance workers during the design stage of a project. The skill of the design professional is then applied to eliminate the hazard (or significantly reduce the risk) by inco rporating the appropriate design features. The involvement of design professionals, specif ically engineers, is not a new concept in the construction safety. Designing for construction safety takes the skill of the designers one step further. Rather than de signing temporary structures and systems for construction, design expertise is extended to include the safety aspects of permanent structures, including maintenance. Construction is a dynamic process. The completion of the construction work on a project does not necessarily mean the end of the need fo r continuing the safety programs or initiatives on the project. After the completion of the constructi on work on a project, th e control of the site passes from the contractor to th e facility owner, along with the responsibility for providing fall protection for all occupants and the maintenan ce workers. Owners often take over the control and liability for the facility that has no provisi on for fall protection for maintenance operations that will be required during the facility occupancy and operation. Thus, fall protection does not need to be limited to the time of construction, as provisions for safety need to be made for permanent fall-protection. 34

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35 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY With the disproportionately high number of fatalities in the construction industry, this study was aimed at developing a comprehensive fa ll prevention guideline, which could become a valuable reference for any construction company. The suggestions put forth as a part of this study shall provide information on how to reduc e fall accidents on construction sites. This process began by researching many aspects of cons truction worker fall fatalities. The research included and assessment o the existing fall preven tion techniques being employed along with the regulations promulgated by OSHA. The key limita tion of this study was that it was based entirely on OSHA statistics and da ta. This was due to the physical limitation of not being able to visit construction sites to obtain information from a variety of pr ojects constructed by different companies. The research methodology for this study consisted following steps Previously documented research on construction worker falls was studied The existing fall prevention and protection r ecommendations that have been previously developed by various sources were examined. OSHA records from 1990-2001 were examined to form a comprehensive list of the most common types of falls an d to study their causes. The most common types of falls were identifi ed and then the prevalent provisions for fall prevention were analyzed in detail for each t ype. Some of the most common falls accidents /occurrences were cited. The last step was to develop extensive fall pr evention techniques for each type of fall and where this was not possi ble, suitable fall protection solutions were suggested. Phase 1: Study and analysis of all previous research and provisions for fall prevention Examination of a fall protection manual de veloped in 1980s resulted in many useful recommendations that have been put forth w ith respect to reducing construction falls. The first phase of this study began with performi ng a detailed study of all identified research that has been conducted on this topic. Construction fata lities and specifically fall related fatalities have been a growing concern fo r construction industry professi onals. Despite the advancement

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of technology and stricter OS HA regulations, fall fatalities have kept increasing, thereby emphasizing the need to focus of this topic. Seve ral studies have been co nducted to assess causes of falls, types of falls and best practices with respect to fall prevention. The analysis of the previous studies helped to narrow down the list of the types of falls and those which are of the greatest concern. Phase 2: Examinations of OSHA Data and Identifying the Types of Falls The second phase of the research began by examining the OSHA/ BLS data for Fatal Occupational Injuries recorded from 1990 to 2006 with a focus on fall fatalities. A detailed study of these incidents was helpful in determining the most prevalent types of falls and their causes. The categories of falls that would be considered for the purpose of this study were narrowed to the following: Falls from roofs Falls from skylights and roof openings Falls from floor openings Falls from ladders Falls from leading and unprotected edges Falls from scaffolds Falls in excavations/holes Falls during steel erection Falls during wood framing Phase 3: Analyzing the Current Standards fo r Each Category of Falls from Various Organizations After identifying the categories of falls, th e existing regulations and requirements were examined for each of these categories. Existing OS HA regulations were analyzed in depth based on two stages: Fall Prevention Fall Protection, in case the fall h azard could not be eliminated. 36

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The relevant subparts of the OSHA regulations we re examined as a part of this phase. The fall prevention categories were scaffolds, steel er ection leading edges, ladders, excavations and regulations for sky-lights, floor openings, holes and wood-framing. The fa ll protection categories included personal protective and lif e saving equipment like lanyards, safety harnesses, safety nets and guardrails. This phase also included an examination of the safety programs implemented by various contractors and construction companies. There we re several construction companies which have been on the forefront of focusing on safety issues on their project sites. With the high project costs and high worker turnover, the companies can de dicate the funds that ar e essential to initiate advanced safety programs. Another important factor is that the companies have to bear higher costs and insurance premiums if they have acciden ts on their project sites. As a result of this, many owners and construction companies are willing to actively participate in safety initiatives on their projects. Phase 4: Developing Design and Constructi on Stage Suggestions for Fall Prevention The final phase of the project involved focusing on individual types of falls as listed above. Stage 1: For each type of fall, all the cases reported to OSHA were compiled in a MS Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet provided a narrativ e description of each accident. This helped in identifying the most common occurrences and their causes. Stage 2: The aim was to identify the safety measures implemented in each of the selected cases. A few typical cases for each type of fall were identified along with illustrations. This was followed by suggestions and recommendations fo r each type. The solutions devised included traditional suggestions, which are commonly implemented on some projects and some innovative approaches to reduce falls on construction sites. Recommendations were suggested for each of the stages, including design, planning, pre-c onstruction, construction and maintenance. 37

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Stage 3: The review of all the documentation on cons truction falls helped to set the minimum standards and define the best prac tices in the key risk areas. After identifying the risk areas, the focus was on developing appropriate technical solutions for the same. Key performance indicators (KPIs) were establis hed to benchmark and constantly monitor the effectiveness of the solutions suggested. Since best practice would be a moving and improving target, it is important to remember that the benchmarks and KPIs will have to be constantly reviewed and adjusted. 38

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39 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Need for Safety Program The safety of construction workers need s to be addressed at each stage of a construction project beginning with the planning and continuing with the design, construction and maintenance phases. The proc ess should start at the planning and design stage of the project. It sh ould continue through the pre-c onstruction phase and into the construction and maintenance stages of the pr oject. The critical f actor in reducing the extent of work related injuries on job-sites is the effective manageme nt of worker safety and health protection. To assist employers and employees in developing effective safety and health programs, OSHA provides recommende d guidelines in the form of Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (J anuary 26, 1989 [54 Federal Register (18): 3908-3916]). OSHA provides these guidelines to help companies to establish their own safety programs and to develop them for each job-site. Using the background of the data obtaine d from OSHA and BLS, study of existing regulations by OSHA, Army Corps of Engineers, Australian, UK and Canadian Standards for fall prevention, this researcher ha s put forth the following suggestions. The guidelines identify five general elements that are critical to the development of a successful safety and health management program: Management commitment and employee involvement; Worksite analysis; Hazard identification, assessment and control; Safety and health training; Compliance Construction is the stage of the project during which most accidents are likely to occur. These accidents are considered the responsibility of the contractor and

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construction management personnel. The succe ss of a project ultimately depends on the level of planning for the project and the deci sions made on the site during the course of the project. A large number of construction a ccidents occur as a result of the lack of proper training, deficient enforcement of sa fety, unsafe equipment, unsafe methods or sequencing, unsafe site conditions, not using th e safety equipment that was provided, and negligence on the part of the employees toward s safety. The roles of the parties involved are often not clear, thereby each party transf erring the responsibility to another party (designer assuming that the contractor will be responsible, contractor assuming that the subcontractor shall be responsible). It is important to acknowledge that creating a safe work place is the responsibility of every party and each of them should contribute towards this goal. Every employer must, as far as is practicable: Provide a safe workplace so as to ensu re that no employee or any other person on the work site is exposed to any unsafe work conditions or hazards. Provide every employee with proper inform ation, instruction a nd training regarding safe work practices and ensure that all tasks are performed under proper supervision by authorized personnel; Provide training to all employees to enab le them to identify hazardous situations and work conditions and take appropriate safety measures. Provide adequate protective clothing and safety equipment where hazards cannot be eliminated; and Establish a site-specific safety program for every job-site: the program shall address workplace policies and procedures. Policies and procedures should be developed and implemented for each job-site to ensure safe systems of work. The process of developing a safety progr am shall include the following steps: 1. Establish safe work methods (suc h as job or task procedures); 2. Identify hazards and perform a risk assessment; 3. Implement orientation and training programs; 40

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4. Monitor performance and review control measures; 5. Organize a system for reporting and reco rding information after hazards have been identified; 6. Establish ongoing inspection and maintenance programs; 7. Establish emergency rescue procedures; and 8. Establish a line of communication for consulting with employees employees working on particular tasks are better equipped to suggest safer methods of performing the work, thereby providing he lpful input in developing the safety program. 9. Periodic review of safety manageme nt policies and procedures with management and employees working on site. 10. It shall address: a) Environmental conditions, b) Multi-language differences, c) Alternative methods/equipmen t to perform assigned tasks, Identifying Hazards, Risk Assessment and Risk Control Procedures Every employer shall ensure that employ ees are not exposed to hazards at the workplace. This can be achieved by following a risk management process to prevent falls at the work-site, which involve the following: Identify hazards; Assess risks; and Control risks. To assist in identifying risks of fall and related hazards and c ontrolling the risks, consideration should be given to the following: Prepare a detailed safety program for the site taking into consideration all the applicable safety regulations. Consider previous accidents, near miss in cidents or accidents as a result of falls that have occurred at the wor kplace or other similar projects; Consult with workers, safety and hea lth representatives, contractors, subcontractors and management personnel to dete rmine the issues and concerns associated with performing the assigned activity; 41

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Prepare a job safety analysis chart for each activity and regularly conduct thorough inspections of the workplace. Risk Assessment The risk assessment process involves determining the possibility of a fall/accident occurring at the work site and, if a fall does occur, the extent of any injury and damages as a result of the fall. This approach shall help in determining th e high-risk areas or activities and should also aide in the formula tion of a plan of action. The risk assessment plan should include the following: Location, type of activity/work with which high risk is associated (height, level, leading edges, work on sloped roofs) Number of employees/workers exposed to th e risk and their experience in the trade or task Duration and type of task Work conditions and Past occurrences on projects of similar nature. Risk assessment requires a breakdown of each work activity into a series of smaller tasks and an assessment of the risks associat ed with each one of them. A job safety analysis chart is created for each activity that is analyzed. It is bene ficial to formulate a detailed safety and hazard management plan which will be useful in controlling the hazards identified during this process. Risk Control The risk control plan includes the following steps: 1. Elimination of hazard or hazardous situation: determine if the risk associated with the work can be eliminated at the design stage or by changing work practices (e.g. avoiding working on ladders by using long-handle tools). 2. Substitution : If the risk cannot be eliminated, substituting or replacing a hazard or hazardous work practice with a less hazardous one (e.g. if work on roof cannot be 42

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performed by any other means, providing an alternative means of access such as a safe walkway so the risks of falls are a voided; or installing an elevating work platform for work at heights and providing means for tie-off). 3. Isolation : If the work related hazard cannot be eliminated or substituted, then an attempt should be made to separate th e hazard or hazardous work practice from people involved in the work or people in the general work areas (perimeter or edge protection with guardra ils). Establish a controlled access zone to the area, thereby only workers actively involved in the work shall be allowed access and use of protective equipment shall be mandatory for them. 4. Engineering control: If proven that the hazard cannot be eliminated, substituted or isolated, the use of an engineering cont rol is then deemed acceptable. Use of engineering control shall incl ude the use of restraint syst ems or fall arrest systems as lanyards and full body harness. 5. Administrative control : This type of cont rol is for management and shall be used in conjunction with any one of the previously mentioned control measures. The management personnel play a very critical ro le in ensuring the safety at the work site and their responsibility should include introducing measures to ensure that safety or control procedures are properly implemented, all the workers are well instructed of the hazards, properly trained with the safe ty procedures and warning signs are in place to warn and protect persons exposed to falls. Training For the success of a properly developed safety program, the commitment of the upper management is critical. Training is an im portant part of ensuring safety on the job site. All employees shall be provided orientat ion and training with respect to their work 43

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requirements and skills. The focus shall be to support and promote safety as a top priority.The type of instruction and tr aining given should include the following: 1. Basic safety orientation with a focu s on work place policies including the responsibilities to create safe work places individual responsibilities and rules of compliance. Basic training for all the employees shall include proper use of equipment, ladders, tools, PPE, emphasis on the use of fall arrest systems (tie-offs), safety nets, etc. 2. All employees shall be provided training specif ic to the tasks or work they need to perform; 3. In addition to this, as per the needs of the job, employees shall be provided on the job training; 4. Depending on the specific requirements of th e job, employees shall have to complete certificate courses an OSHA training for confined spaces, Red Cross first-aid or AED/CPR courses. 5. Line supervisors and foremen shall be provided training in ex ercising supervisory skills. 6. Employees shall be trained with regards to their rights to stop wo rk if and when any unsafe practices are observed. 7. Detailed records shall be maintained for all training sessions w ith descriptions of topics covered and names of workers trained. 8. Initiate employee participation and involveme nt in the safety program development, it is crucial to implementing an effective fall protection program. Compliance As a part of the safety program, it is the responsibility of the management and supervisors to ensure that the employees understand the importance of complete compliance with the company policies regardin g safety. The supervisors shall make every effort to help the employees understand that the safety policies and instructions are for their personal safety and health or for the safe ty or health of other persons associated with the work. It is essential to establish a st rong and clear line of co mmunication and ensure that all employees feel comfortable to voice their opinions and concerns. 44

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Job Safety Analysis The aim of developing a safety program is to reduce the risk of injury or harm for any person who may be affected by the work. This includes employers, contractors, all workers, visitors and other parties who may be at or near a work site. A job safety analysis (JSA) is a way of providing inform ation to everyone involved in a particular task. It should clearly state th e procedure to identify the h azards and how to manage them on the site. JSAs are a method of maintaini ng records and checklist s for contractors, management and supervisors to coordinate the work. JSAs should be completed before work begins for all the activities that will be performed on the site. The JSA form shall be a simple form to be completed for each act ivity and it should be completed by persons responsible for particular tasks as pe r the Limit of Authority concept. Following steps shall be followed to create a JSA Each task shall be sequentially broken down into small steps. The hazard column should list all the po ssible risks of accidents, taking into consideration workers as well as people not directly involved with the task. In the risk column, list all the ways by which the task could be done in a safer manner or the manner in which the risk could be reduced. Every task should be assigned to an authorized person who will complete the job safety analysis and ensure complete complia nce. The JSA is to be reviewed and updated regularly. Designing For Worker Safety Every party participating in construction project has an ethical duty to ensure worker safety on the project, but in addition to this, there are practical reasons for each party to participate in the process of designing for constructi on worker safety. Designers specifically need to work with a focus on worker safety while designing and planning their projects. This can eliminate common safe ty hazards and reduce worker injuries to a great extent. Designers who work towards worker safety will be considered progressive 45

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and team-oriented professionals and will great ly contribute in making zero incident worksites a reality. Designers who are a part of design-build company or project will ultimately benefit financially from the re duced accident rates experienced during construction. Also, this will contribute posi tively towards the corporate image of their company. These facts have been understood a nd well proven but the lia bility issues are the major cause of designers being reluctant to take the responsibility of designing for worker safety. The important fact is that the work will not change greatly, except that there will be additional notes and specifi cations for worker safety or additional construction details that would e nhance the safety on the site. This is an achievable target for designers if owners, developers, contract ors and subcontractors work as a team. The recent years have seen changes in the positiv e direction and continued improvements are needed. Designing for Safety Suggestions This research attempted to identify a nd develop design suggestions or best practices, which could be implemented during various phases of the work and effectively reduce or eliminate safety hazards in the construction phase. The suggestions developed as a part of this research include all types of design disc iplines, jobsite hazards, and construction components and systems. The design suggestions were developed w ith the aim of providing many benefits like reduction of construction worker injuries costs associated with the accidents like insurance and worker compensation costs, re duction in the time spent in planning for safety during the construction phase, hazards during maintenance work. The suggestions will be beneficial to owners, contractors, management, workers as well as members of public not directly asso ciated with the work 46

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Steel Design Suggestions Design steel columns and beams with holes in the webs and flanges at appropriate heights to provide support locations for guardrails and lifelines. This provision will make it easier to install the guardrails a nd lifelines as well as cut down the time required for installation, thereby motivati ng the workers to make use of these provisions. Design the beam to column double connectio ns to provide continual support for beams during the erection and fabrication pr ocess. This can be achieved by adding a beam seat or additional bolt hole. This will eliminate falls as a result of misalignments and unexpected loading conditions. Clear notes shall be made on constructi on working drawings to identify those members that have been designed to support lifelines, the number of lifelines, and the specific locations along the beams/columns and where holes have been provided to support lifelines. Design members and connections so as to facilitate maximum fabrication at ground level. Consider use of beam gliders (tie-off anc hor that attaches to horizontal steel members) for mobility during steel erect ion. The reason for avoiding the use of full-body harness during work at height is of ten lack of mobility due to the harness. A beam glider allows the worker mobility all along the length of the horizontal member, thereby making it a more acceptable method of tie-off. This is shown in Figure 4-1. Figure 4-1. Tie-off to the Horizontal Member (Beam) Walking on the top plate while performing work on trusses is not acceptable. While working on trusses and connections, additional protection shall be provided by erecting a safety decking system (metal) underneath the trusses once the frame is 47

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erected (Figure 4-2(a) and (b)). This system shall provide walking and working surface and could prevent falls a ssociated with this activity. Safety mats like air mats or soft fill mats could be used during steel erection when there are no structural members available for tie off and the frame work is being installed (steel columns, beams). Use overhead horizontal lifelines for anc horage during steel erection (trusses) as shown in Figure 4-1. (A) (B) Figure 4-2. Metal decking system. (A) View of a Metal decking system during steel or timber erection work and (B) Metal decking system during masonry work (Source: Health Safety Execu tive Research Report 302, 2003). Design shall require as much work from cr anes, aerial lifts or scissor lifts as possible, so as to reduce the risk of falls associated with working at heights. (Figure 4-3 shows use of scissor lift for masonry work) 48

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Figure 4-3. Scissor Lift Elev ated Work Platform (Source: Australian Code of PracticePrevention of Falls at work places, 2004) Concrete Suggestions Design columns with holes to provide support locations for lifelin es or guardrails or install built-in safety hooks for tie-offs. Design special attachments or holes in members at elevated work areas to provide permanent, stable connections for supports lifelines, guardrails, and scaffolding as shown in Figure 4-4. Figure 4-4. Provision of safety strap in a concrete column. Design perimeter beams and beams above floor openings with sufficient strength to support lifelines. 49

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Clear notes shall be made on constructi on working drawings to identify those members that have been designed to support lifelines, the number of lifelines, and the locations along the beams/columns and where holes have been provided to support the lifelines. Consider specifying the use pr ecast or prefabricated members with standard sizes, so as to avoid falls during erection of formwork or while placing concrete. In addition to this, standardization of sizes would result in simplifying the design and thereby work on sites. Design reinforcement such that it can be assembled at the ground level and erected or put into place just before placing concre te. Specify the use of single or curtains of welded wire mesh for reinforced conc rete walls and columns to allow placement of the reinforcing in large secti ons rather than many small pieces. For work performed at heights, provide catch platforms that provide additional protection from falls. A catch platform is a temporary platform located below the work area, made from scaffolding pla nks and it should be provided all along the length of the work area. It should be capable of withstanding the maximum potential impact load (F igure 4-5 (a) and (b)). If the catch platform is designe d from scaffolding ma terial, it should: have a deck that is fully planked out and is as close as possible to the work level; be no more than 6 feet below the work area; extend a minimum of 6 feet beyond all unprotected edges of the work area; The design shall specify the use of metal decking and poured conc rete for floor and roof slabs instead of using traditionally cast concrete floors thereby avoiding the need for complicated slab formwork th at need to be erected and removed. To minimize the risk of falling, minimize the number of offsets, and make the offsets a consistent size and as large as possible. 50

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(A) (B) Figure 4-5. Catch Platforms. (A) Catch platform below the work area and (B). Use of Catch platform while working on roof. (S ource: Australian Code of PracticePrevention of Falls at work places, 2004). 51

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During the erection of framing for metal studs or exterior claddi ng systems, provide netting and framing on the exterior to pr event falls. This framing should provide sufficient working space for the work and continually provide fall protection. As an alternative to providing framing, provide a ca tch platform system that can be very effective while performing this task. Every worker should be required to be tied off from the nearest structural members such as beams. Design structural members of standard sizes, so as to facilitate the repetitive use of formwork as well as reduce errors dur ing construction. This could also be beneficial for use of prefabricated forms. Consider using shotcrete instead of poured concrete when practicable. No work shall be performed without guardrails and edge protection. Edge protection/perimeter protection shall be provi ded with wire rope installed with full height netting starting at 3rd floor level. The design sha ll require full height netting at every level above the 3rd floor after the concrete frame is in place. Full height netting requires the proper frame for toe boards, mid-rails and intermediate posts. Netting should not be a substitute for guardrails; both shall be required as a part of fall protection. Design columns with holes at 21 and 42 inches above the floor level to provide support locations for life lines and guardrails. Provide safety straps cast in place in colu mns or beams or slabs for fall protection for later stages of work. Design special atta chments or holes in members at elevated work areas to provide permanent, stab le connections for supports, lifelines, guardrails, and scaffolding. For precast concrete members, provide inserts or other devices to attach fall protection lines. Design scaffolding tie-off points into exte rior walls of buildings for construction purposes. Timber While working with timber roofing and tr usses, attach roof anchors onto the structural members and fix the plywood to th e rafters such that the roof anchors are spaced at 8 feet intervals. Another acceptabl e approach is to have the roof anchors fixed to the ridge line or ridge beam at 8 feet intervals to provide anchorages for tie-off. Design special attachments or holes in members at elevated work areas to provide permanent, stable connections for suppor ts, lifelines, guardrails, and scaffolding. 52

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Encourage the use of pre-fabricated me tal timber fasteners for wood connections instead of end-nailing or toe-nailing. Window sills shall be designed to be 39 inches minimum above the floor level, thereby eliminating the need of pr oviding guardrails during construction. General Design Suggestions Specify the use of precast or metal stairs as far as is practicable. Precast stairs or metal stairs are to be installed in the building during the early phases of construction, thereby providing safe, well designed access to the upper floors. With the use of metal stairs, guardrails can be welded or built-in before installation. Specify that permanent stairways and walkwa ys are to be constr ucted in the early stages of construction as it would help in reducing the n eed to use of ladders and scaffolding to access higher levels. Eliminate the need for installing tempor ary barriers by designing higher parapet walls up to 39 minimum or include an in tegrated guardrail system along all roof edges; Design the floor plan such that the roof top equipment is located away from the building perimeter to reduce fall hazards while installing the equipment and during future maintenance work. A building plan with too many offsets will make it difficult to erect edge protection/guardrails as well as to pe rform activities like painting, erecting scaffolds. Designers should attempt to simplify floor plans and have lesser offsets. Design multi-storied buildings so the exteri or wall covering can be installed as soon as the framework is in place and before the interior work on the floors begins. Consider the installation of eye-bolts or other connections used for window maintenance in the early stage of constr uction so that they can be used during construction as well as during maintenance work. Design roof anchors or tieoff points along the building pe rimeter so as to provide anchorage points during window cleani ng and routine maintenance operations. To avoid hazards associated with swing down while depl oying a fall arrest system; supplement the system with guardrails pr otection. While instal ling the guardrails; the anchorage point shall be at a right a ngle to the position of the line at the perimeter edge. The use of mobile an chorages is preferred and secondary anchorage points shall be installed whic h could act as intermediate anchorages. 53

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Ladders Where work at height is necessary determ ine if the task can be completed at ground level or without using a ladder or step-ladder. If it is deemed not practicable, then the following shall be the acceptable practices: Limit the time that needs to be spent on ladders to ten minutes. Follow the three-point rule of ascen ding and descending ladder by keeping two hands and one foot or two feet a nd one hand on the ladders at all times during the work (Figure 4-6). The ladders shall extend at least thre e feet above the working surface and shall be properly tied to the surface or structural member. Follow the belt-buckle rule of keepin g the buckle within the plane of the side rails of the ladder at all times. Job made scaffolds, ladders shall not be permitted; if the ladders being used are modified for use on site, then the ladd ers shall be inspected by a competent authority and signed approval shall be re quired. Maintain proper records of any changes authorized for any sa fety system or equipment. Figure 4.6. Three-point rule for use of ladders. (Source: Government of Western Australia, Code of Practice-Prev ention of Workplace Falls, 2004) 54

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Determine if the work on ceilings or walls can be performed without ladders. These are the steps that can be followed: Specify long handle-tools and equipment to be used to reach ceiling heights to perform finishing, plastering and painting work, thereby reducing the potential of falls occurring while performing maintenance and finishing tasks. Consider using folding podium steps, which provide a more stable work platform, to perform work such as finishing of drywall and painting, thereby avoiding working from ladders as shown in Figure 4-7 and 4-8. These types of steps provide a space to keep tools and some material on the working step. These devices lock in position as soon as a person steps on them have guardrails around the steps as well as the working platform and are easy to assemble as well as move from place to place. Larger types of podium steps can be used as in place of scaffolds as they provide mobility in addition to a safe work platform. These could be used for activities like masonry work, exteri or painting or maintenance work. Figure 4-7. Podium Steps/Platform as an alternative for work on ladders. While working on ladders, ladder cages shall not be used as the only method of fall protection as the cage does not help to stop a fall but it simply funnels a fall. In addition to this, the cage around the ladder co uld give the worker a false sense of security. The workers shall be tied off fr om the nearest structural member while working on ladders at heights above 6 feet. 55

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Figure 4-8. Podium steps which can be used for interior works like drywall finishing, painting Scaffolds While working on scaffolds, cross bracing shall not be used as means of access to upper levels. Incomplete scaffolds systems shall not be used. A complete scaffold system shall consist of framing as per th e design, scaffold platforms, cross bracing, guardrails and access ladders, co mplete with scaffold stair towers. Cross bracing shall not be used as an alternative for guardrails for scaffolds. Use of engineered or well-designed scaffolds shall be mandated. Scaffold components manufactured by different ma nufacturers shall not be intermixed unless the components fit together without force and the scaffold's structural integrity is maintained by the user. Ensure that no extensions or auxiliary parts are added to scaffolds unless designed and a pproved by an engineer. An example of well-designed scaffold system is shown in Figure 4-9. An authorized person shall inspect all sca ffold systems in use on a daily basis and detailed records shall be maintained in th e form of checklists. If any part of the scaffold needs to be modified or adjust ed, a signed approval of the authorized person or the engineer shall be required. 56

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Figure 4-9. Well-designed Scaffold System (Source: North Carolina Department of Labor, Division of Occupational Sa fety and Health, January 2001) Ladders are not permitted on scaffolds to achieve extra heights. Hook on and attachable ladders provided with the s caffolds shall not be used to work at intermediate levels, these sh all strictly be used to gain access to upper or lower levels. If outrigger beams are put in place for addi tional space or for material loading, then guardrails shall go around them as a means of fall protection. During the loading/ unloading of materi als, the entire guard-rail shall not be removed as far as is practicable; the acceptable practice shall be to remove only the toe-board and the mid-rail and keep the t op-rail in place all the time. The top rail shall be removed only for handling bulky mate rials. In that case, the person loading unloading the material shall be tied off to the nearest structural member. While loading or unloading material, if the raili ngs have to be removed completely, then they shall be replaced as soon as practicable. Design the access to general work-floor s to be a permanent solution at the beginning of the construction, as soon as is practicable. Where not practicable, temporary stair towers of adequate width and complete with handrails and guardrails shall be provided for access to upper floors or the roof. Stair towers (scaffold stairway/towers) shall be positio ned such that their bottom step is not more than 24 inches above the scaffold supporting level. Figure 4-10 shows a well designed stair tower system. 57

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When work at height requires access to he ights greater than 6 feet, then scaffold protection shall be required in the form of guardrails, cross-bracing and proper means of ladder access. Cross-bracing sha ll not be considered a substitute for guardrails, as it does not pr ovide a toe-board and continuous mid-rail. As work height increases, providing an additional top-rail at the height of 60 shall be recommended. Figure 4-10. Stair-Tower with proper guardrails for access to scaffolds and upper levels. (Source: OSHA Scaffold Standards) Use of ladder jack scaffolds and horse (trestle) scaffolds shall not be permitted on the site. Ladder jack scaffolds are scaffolds in which the work platform/plank is supported on two ladders fixed to the wall/ working surface, thereby making it impossible to provide any form of guardr ail protection or tie-off for the worker, thereby making it an unsafe work-practice. Also, Horse shoe scaffold, being a suspended type of scaffold, does not pr ovide any edge protection or tie-off provision to the worker. As an alternative to either of these types of scaffolds, consider the use of scissor lifts or aerial lift as a means of performing work at heights. Figure 4-11(a) and (b) shows Ladder jack and Horse shoe scaffolds. A stationary scaffold shall be secured to the building or a fixed structure vertically every 25 ft starting at the base of th e scaffold and horiz ontally every 30 ft. Outriggers may be used in lieu of tying off scaffolds, or scaffolds may be clamped together so that the height does not exceed three times the smallest base dimension without additional stabilization. 58

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(A) (B) Figure 4-11. Types of Scaffold not reco mmended for use on construction sites (A) Horse-Shoe Scaffold and (B) Ladder Jack Scaffold. Allow limited amount of work to be perfor med on boatswain scaffolds and when they are being used, the workers have to be tied off from the nearest wall, surface or nearest structural member. While working in cherry pickers or other types of elevated pl atforms (Figure 4-12), it is mandatory to wear an anchored sa fety harness and lanyard incorporating a shock absorber as a precaution against mechanical failure of the basket. The lanyard should be as short as possible. 59

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Figure 4.12. Types of Cherry-Pickers and elevat ed work platforms which can be used for work at heights. (Source: Oregon Occ upational Safety and Health Division, Fall Protection-Personnel lifts used in construction, February 2007) While working on engineered devices (Figur e 4-13) such as fork-lifts to carry persons with material, the worker shall not be permitted to stand on the forks of the equipment; the persons carrying material on such systems shall be tied off and shall not step onto ladders or scaffold to gain additional height while loading/ unloading material. When being used to perform a task at height, the aerial lift platform shall have a guardrail complete with full net or mesh and a gate to ensure the safety of the worker. A self locking mechanism for the door is essential before the mechanism is lifted. (A) 60

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(B) Figure 4-13. Elevated work platforms. (a) Well-designed Personnel carrying equipment with safety harness and Restraint system and (b) Worker tied-off with safety harness and restraint line while loading the material on the platform. (Source: Government of Western Australia-Code of Practice Prevention of Falls at work places, 2004) Sky-Lights and Roof Openings To create a safe work zone around roof openi ngs and sky-lights the following shall be done: Roof openings shall be covered or protected depending whether they need to provide access or not. If they provide access then provide one of the fo llowing (refer Figure 4-14): Guardrails going all arou nd it with a gate for acce ss to the opening. Caution needs to be taken by the user that while accessing the opening, the gate shall be closed before the work begins or before accessing the opening. Another alternative is to offset th e guardrails but have wrap around the guardrails around with the access as shown in the Figure 4-14. 61

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Figure 4-14. Alternatives for guardrails around the roof-opening. Design skylights with shatterproof glass or add st rengthening wire for added protection or provide mesh over the glass so as to provide additional fall protection. Before the skylight opening is covered with glass, provide a temporary plywood cover such as plywood over it which sha ll be fixed to cover the opening. Also consider designing permanent guardrails around the sky-lights as soon as the opening is created. These can be designed so as to provide access through the opening. Design skylights so as to be loca ted on flat areas of the roof. Locate skylights away from rooftop mechanical/HVAC equipment. Place skylights on a raised curb so as to clearly indicate the presence of an opening and to avoid any workers accidentally walking into it. Roofing Locate roof openings away from the perimeter of the structure. Minimize the number of roof openings and attempt to group roof openings together to create one larger opening rather than many smaller openings. Provide permanent guardrails around r oof openings, roof accesses and along the perimeter of the roof. Establish control access zones but ensure th at only persons performing work in the zone are allowed so as to prevent falls from heights. The only acceptable approach to prevent falls from heights is to have a parapet or guardrail system at a minimum height of 39. A parapet of this height will provide immediate guardrail protection and eliminate the need to construct a gua rdrail during construction or for future roof maintenance. Guardrails and slide edge (Figure 4-15) shall be erected as soon as practicable along the roof edge to prevent falls duri ng the sheathing or d ecking work on roof. 62

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(a) (b) (c) Figure 4-15. Slide edge erected to prevent falls from roofs. Perimeter safety nets shall extend at least 8 feet beyond the leading edge of the working area (Figure 4-16). Perimeter safety nets are installed where there is no edge protection to prevent workers falli ng over the edges; if cables are installed along the length of the building or struct ure, safety nets are hung across these cables and moved along as the work proceed s; Safety nets should be able to withstand tension and all impact lo ads that it could be subjected to. (A) (B) (C) 63

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(D) Plan View (Safety nets) (E) Section View (Safety nets) Figure 4-16. Perimeter nets. (A) Perimeter ne ts installed on wall brackets in plan view, (B) Perimeter nets on wall brackets in section view, (C) Proper use of Safety Nets, (D) and (E) Safety Nets hung from cables in plan and sectional vi ew (Source: Western Australian Government Code of Practice fo r Prevention of Falls at work place, 2004) Provide walkways to access the rooftop mechanical equipment. Design roofs to have lesser pitch so as to reduce the chance of workers slipping and falling off the roof. Construction drawings and specifications sh all clearly indicate the location all the floor openings and cut-outs such as vent ilation systems, tras h chutes, chimneys, elevators, skylights, etc. which will result in floor openings during construction. Design in permanent guardrail systems and sequence them early in the construction process for use by all contractors. Consider installing permanent anchorage poi nts, lifeline attachments, and/or holes in perimeter walls for guardrail attach ment. Roof anchors shall be provided on roofs to provide anchorage for life lin es and lanyards. Design appropriate and permanent fall protection systems for r oofs to be used for construction and maintenance purposes. Roof anchors (Figure 4-17) shall be provided at 8 feet intervals along the ridgeline so as to provide permanent tie-off points for construction work and for routine maintenance work. 64

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Figure 4-17. Roof anchor used for tieoff during roof maintenance work. (Source: Bausteine German government c onstruction safety standards) Leading and Unprotected Edges Establish controlled access zones and ensure that only persons working in the zone are allowed access to the area as a measure to prevent falls. The only acceptable approach to prevent falls from heights is to have a parapet or guardrail system at the height of 39 or a maximum of 45. A parapet of this height will provide immediate guardrail protection and eliminat e the need to cons truct a guardrail during construction or future roof main tenance. Figure 4-18 shows leading edge work. Figure 4-18. Leading edge work. (Source: OSHA fall protection guidelines). 65

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Floor Openings Floor openings like elevator sh afts and stairwells shall have full height netting or mesh/screens to prevent falls as well as to protect worker from falling materials. The elevator shafts shall have planking al ong with the rails so as to prevent falls while working on stilts or while working on flooring. Stairwell openings, where not practicable to cover the entire opening with wooden planks or metal grating, shall be provided with the use of safety nets and guardrails along all open edges. These can be used in combination or as independent of each other. For safety nets, provide tie-off points along the perimeter of the stairwell opening. Holes or openings in concrete oors must, where practicab le, be protected with embedded wire mesh and grating provided th at it is flush with the floor level. Figure 4-19 illustrates the acceptable me thod of covering a floor opening. The covering must be designed and installed with careful consideration all types of equipment (scissor lifts, ladders) and loads to which it that may be subjected to. Warning signs are essential at each lo cation where a floor opening has been covered. Warning sign/flag (orange) Flooring/Finished Floor Acceptable method of covering floor o p enin g ( flush with floor Flooring/Finished Floor Flooring/Finished Floor Unacceptable method of covering floor o p enin g ( above with floor Figure 4-19. Method of covering a floor opening (acceptable and unacceptable practices) For erecting guardrails, design th e stair platform/slab to have brackets to be cast in the concrete or welded in steel sections These brackets can be useful to erect permanent guardrails at the beginning of the construction phase, thereby saving time and costs. 66

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67 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The construction industry has continually reco rded a very high number of injuries and fatalities. With stricter OSHA regulations as well as private companies taking special efforts to implement stricter safety policies on their project s, there has been some progress in terms of reducing falls and related accidents at work places. Working towards a goal of having zero accident work places will take a stronger commitm ent and concerted effort on behalf of owners, designers and contractors alike. General Recommendations Creating a safe job-site can be achieved by developing a comprehensive fall protection program for every project. Each of the parties involved in the project needs to become more cognizant about their role in making the job-site a safe work place. There has been a significant improvement in the safety performance of th e construction industry dur ing the 1990s. Perhaps the most significant factor which attributed to this improvement is the increased management commitment to safety (Hislop 1999). Because of the increased awareness of the impact of the high costs of workers compensation, the higher dollar value settlements in lawsuits, the increased OSHA fines for safety violations, along with the damaging effect s of poor safety performance on the corporate image, the owners and upper management is now more willing to make a greater commitment to worker safety. Owners, who are determined to improve safety performance on their projects, should select contractors and subcontractors based on their safety performanc e. This will initiate the process at the early stages of the project and then the owner should continually remain involved in the development and implementation of the safety programs.

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Acknowledging the fact that constr uction is an inherently danger ous business, all parties in must work towards reducing the risk of injuries on the proj ects being undertaken. The process should start at the contract prep aration stage which typi cally indicates that the designers are not responsible for the safety of construction workers. If the designers could visualize an imminent hazard while planning the work, they should feel a moral obligation to take preventive steps to avoid any accidents at the site or any injuries to the workers. If designers would start working with such attitude, then planning for construction worker safety would become an integral part of designing process. This would take the industry one step closer to achieving the goal of zero incident job-sites. Contractors have a responsibility to not only develop a comprehensive safety program for the job-site, but to ensure complete complian ce. This can be achieved by having authorized persons to monitor the implementation of safe work practices and ensure compliance. For the successful implementation of a safety program and to achieve the goal of zero incident rates is to have 100% compliance with respect to the safety re gulations and policies. It is not sufficient to just have a quality safety program in place, but it is equally important to have authorized persons responsible for its implementation at each st age of work. This can be established by recommending the concept of limit of authority. The aim will be to establish authorized person with respect to individual stages of work and author ized persons to report to in case of any issues or concerns. This shall be done for every stag e of the project starti ng with design phase and continue through the stages of procurement, pre-construction, construction phase and maintenance. The liability issues are still a con cern for designers, contra ctors and owners alike, leading to reluctance to contribute to th e process of planning for worker safety. 68

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Research Specific Recommendations This research has attempted to document guideli nes/best practices for fall prevention, some of which need to be incorporated at the de sign stages and some during the beginning of the construction process. It is important to rememb er that best practices are a moving and improving target, these practices will have to be constantly reviewed and revised. Consideration could be given to studying the effectiveness of these guidelines when put into practice at different job-si tes. It would be beneficial to conduct surveys regarding the difficulties encountered while implementing these guidelines on project sites and the level of compliance obtained. The information collected could be at different levels, such as superintendents and project managers as well as workers. Ongoing evaluation of a comprehensive fall protection program by upper ma nagement and safety personnel will ensure that the safety program will continue to improve as it evolves. A large percentage of falls a nd related accidents can be avoi ded with complete compliance with the rules or safe practices In addition to this if a system of accountability could be introduced, then the safety program could be ma de more effective and it would automatically bring about better compliance. Fu rther research could also focus on developing better means of achieving compliance and accountability. 69

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70 LIST OF REFERENCES Behm, M., (2005). Linking construction fatalities to the design for construction safety concept. Safety Science, October 2005, 43-8, 589-611. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (2002b). Health and safety stat istics: Injuries and illnesses, U.S. Department of Labor Kalamazoo, Mich. (2002). ( http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcdnew.htm ) Cameron, I., Duff, R., and Gillan, G., Glasgow Caledonian University for Health and Safety Executive (2005). A technical gu ide to the selection and use of fall prevention and arrest equipment.Research Report 302 for Health and Safety Executive, 2005. Duncan, C. W., and Bennett, R. III (1991). F all protection and debr is containment during construction. Preparing for construction in the 21st century, L. M Chang, ed., ASCE, New York, 97-102. Gambatese, J.A. (1996). Addressing construc tion worker safety in the project design. University of Washington, May 1996. Gambatese, J.A. (1998). Liability in designing for construction worker safety. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 4(3), 107-112. Gambatese, J.A., Behm, M., Hinze, J. W., ( 2005). Viability of Designing for Construction Worker Safety. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, September 2005, 1029-1036. Gambatese, J., and Hinze, J. ( 1998). Addressing construction worker safety in the design phaseDesigning for construction worker safety. Automation in Construction. Issue 8, 1999, 643. Gambatese, J.A., Hinze, J. W., and Haas, C.T. (1997). Tool to design for construction worker safety. Journal of Architect ural Engineering, 3(1), 32-41. Government of Western Australia (2004). Code of Practice Prevention of falls at work places. Commission for Occupational Health and Safety, 2004. Heads of Workplace Safety Au thorities (HWSA) An Australian and New Zealand Joint Compliance Project (2004). F alls prevention construction HWSA Project report-Part1. October 2004. Hinze, J. W., and Gambatese, J. (1996). Addr essing construction worker safety in project design. Research Rep. 101-11, Construction Indu stry Institute, University of Texas at Austin. Hinze, J and Russell, D. (1995). Analysis of Fatalities recorded by OSHA. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, June 1995, 209-214.

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Hinze, J and Wiegand, F. (1992). Role of Designers in construction worker safety. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 118 (4), 677-684. Huang, X and Hinze, J (2003). Analysis of Cons truction worker Fall Accidents. Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, June 2003, 129 (3), 262-271. Johnson, H. M., Singh, A., and Young, R (1998). Fall Protection Analysis for workers on Residential roofs. Journal of Cons truction Engineering and Management, September/October 1998, 418-428. Manuele, F.A., (1997). Principles for the practice of safety. Professional Safety, July 1997, 42Issue 7, 27 Marini, J., (2007). Designing for Construction Work er Safety; A software tool for designers. University of Florida, May 2007. National Institute for Occupational Safety a nd Health (NIOSH). (2002). NIOSH Facts: Construction safety and health. ( http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/constfc. html), Jan 2008. National Institute of Occupational Safety and H ealth (NIOSH) (2000). Worker deaths by Falls A Summary of Surveillance Findings and I nvestigative Case Reports. September 2000. ( www.cdc.gov/niosh ), December 2007. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (2004). Preventing Falls of Workers through Skylights and Roof and Floor Openings. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004. ( www.cdc.gov/niosh ), December 2007 North Carolina Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and Health, (2001). A Guide to safe scaffolding. January 2001. Occupational Safety and Health Admini stration (OSHA). (2002).SIC code classi cation ( http://www.osha.gov/ ), October 2007. R. Navon and O. Kolton (2006). Model for Automa ted Monitoring of Fall Hazards in Building Construction. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, July 2006, 733740. Singh, A. (2000). Innovative fall protection fo r construction workers on low-rise roofs. Construction Safety and health management Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J. 87114. Tycho K. Fredericks, Osama Abudayyeh, Sang D. Choi, Mike Wiersma and Marcia Charles (2005). Occupational Injuries and Fatalities in the Roo ng Contracting Industry. Journal of Construction Engineerin g and Management, November 2005, 1233-1240. Toole, T.M. (2002). Construction Site Safety Roles. Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Jun2002, 128-3, 203-210. 71

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Toole, T.M. (2004). Rethinking de signers role in construction sa fety. Designing for safety and health in construction: Proc. Research and Practice Symp., S. Hecker J. Gambatese, and M. Weinstein, eds., UO Press, Eugene, Ore. The Associated General Contractor s of America, Inc. (1958) Ma nual of Accident Prevention in Construction. Fift h revised edition 1958. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers EM 3851-1 (1987). Safety and Health Requirements Manual. October 1987. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers EM 3851-1 (1992). Safety and Health Requirements Manual. October 1992. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers EM 3851-1 (2003). Safety and Health Requirements Manual. October 2003. ( http://www.usace.army.mil/public ations/eng-manuals/em385-11/toc.htm ), January 2008. U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (1987). Construction Safety Standards. Division of Safety Engineeri ng and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, June1968. U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (1987). Construction Safety Standards. Division of Safety Engineeri ng and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, 1987. U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Sa fety and Health Admini stration (OSHA) (1974) Construction Safety and Health RegulationsPart 1926. June 1974 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York City, District of Columbia, and Federal agencies, and Census of Fatal O ccupational Injuries (1992-2006). Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Fatal Injuries data. 1992-2006. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safe ty and Health Admini stration (OSHA) (1998). Fall Protection in construc tion. OSHA 3146, 1998 Revised. U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Sa fety and Health Admini stration (OSHA) (2007) Construction Industry RegulationsOSHA 29 CFR 1926. January 2007. 72

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73 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Supriya Ghule was born and brought up in Indi a. She pursued a high school diploma in Science and went on to study Archit ecture at the University of Pune, India. She completed her bachelors in architecture in 2002. She worked for a couple of years in the architecture/ construction industry while working toward her regi stration in the Indian Institute of Architects. In 2006, she started her graduate program at the University of Florida with the School of Building Construction.