Use of Fall Protection in the US Construction Industry

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The lack of fall protection has been the most frequently cited Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard in the US construction industry. This article investigates the use of fall protection in the US construction industry over the past two decades. Using fall accidents data between 1997 and 2012 from the OSHA Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), the use of fall protection, categorized into three classes (correct use, misuse, and no fall protection), was studied with regard to industry sector, project cost, fall cause, injury class, and fall height. Inferential statistics, such as chi-square and the Kruskal-Wallis test, and frequency analyses were conducted. The data analyses revealed that more than 70% of fall accident victims lacked fall protection. Over time, the portion of victims lacking fall protection has decreased, but the portion of victims using fall protection incorrectly has increased. Regarding the relationship between fall protection use and injury class, it was found that fall protection contributes to mitigating injuries, and the association between fall protection use and injury class is statistically significant. Also, this study found a statistically significant correlation between height and fall protection use, meaning that laborers working in higher places tend to use fall protection more often. Few studies on the use of fall protection have made use of the comprehensive OSHA IMIS database. This study's findings contribute to specifying strategies to promote the proper use of fall protection in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04018045
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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