WVU and OSHA Help Prevent Falls in Construction - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

WVU and OSHA Help Prevent Falls in Construction

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The summer months are prime time for construction, that couldn't be more true in Morgantown. What some people don't realize is that being a construction worker can get dangerous, especially when you're dealing with extremely high heights.

"When we look at the statistics relating to fall protection, we're looking at from 1992 to 2014 we're looking at an average of 721 workers a year dying in work related falls in the workplace," said Mark Cangemi, a Technical Training Specialist for Honeywell.

Those stats are just from the United States and just at work.

OSHA officials said that fall prevention is one of the top 10 most cited areas of workplace safety. That means there's a lot of room for improvement.

The WVU OSHA Training and Education Center brought in contractors, construction and maintenance workers for training this week.

"When you look at falls from height and construction, first thing you need to do is pre-plan and look at where there will be exposures to falls from height, and then you have to decide what's the best solution," said Mark Fullen, the program leader of the OSHA Training and Education Center at WVU. "That could be putting on a harness and a lanyard, or you could put up a guardrail that prevents you from falling over the edge, or you can put up a scaffold like we have here."

There were also vendors demonstrating safe practices, including Honeywell, the largest personal protective equipment provider in the country.

"I basically just want to answer their questions," said Cangemi. "They know how they do their jobs, the challenges they see out in the workplace, so when they come to me with questions, I'm that resource for them that shows them how to be compliant and how to stay safe."

OSHA is making a difference. Workplace fatalities have dropped by more than 65 percent since 1970 while U.S. employment has almost doubled.

The WVU OSHA Training and Education Center's event wrapped up OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down Week.

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