Post Content

Did you know that construction is among the largest sectors in our state economy? Chances are that you probably know someone who works in this vitally important field. And even if not, your life has been has been touched by what construction workers do — building and repairing our homes, schools, workplaces, hospitals and roadways.

Stand Down for Safety

Sadly, too many construction workers are exposed to risk for injury or illness every day on the job while trying to make a living.

The DPH Massachusetts Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation Project (MA FACE) is helping to raise awareness about one cause of construction worker deaths: falls in construction.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, both nationwide and here in Massachusetts.  Between 2009 and 2013, 71 construction workers died on the job in Massachusetts – more workers than in any other industry.  Over half of these workers (39) fell to their deaths, and most of these were employed by small contractors with 10 or fewer employees.

What’s surprising is the height from which these construction workers fell.  Most think that fatal falls only happen from high surfaces like huge city buildings, but over half of the Massachusetts deaths occurred from 25 feet or less, about the height of a typical two-story home.  Eleven of these workers died falling from a height of 15 feet or less.

Also alarming is the increased risk faced by Hispanic construction workers when it comes to fatal falls.  During these same five years, six Hispanic workers fell to their deaths.  Hispanic workers in Massachusetts make up merely about 7% of the construction workforce, yet they accounted for 15% of these fall deaths.

We know how to prevent falls in construction, so these these terrible incidents should not just be accepted as part of a construction worker’s job.  Join construction workers across country during the week of June 2nd for a National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down.  This is a chance for employers to talk to employees about safety and the importance of fall prevention.

Learn more about the Safety Stand-Down and how to participate by visiting the two Safety Stand-Down webpages: www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown and www.stopconstructionfalls.com.

For additional information about preventing falls in construction, MA FACE has a series of fall prevention brochures for residential contractors, covering the safe use of ladders, scaffolds and personal fall arrest systems. All brochures are free and available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Written By:


in the Occupation Health Surveillance Program

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

A Taste of India for Special Occasions! posted on Mar 27

A Taste of India for Special Occasions!

At WIC, we are very fortunate to have so many staff members from different countries and cultures.  In this week’s blog, Kinnari Chitalia, RD, LDN, CLC, Nutritionist at the Dorchester North WIC Program, shares a favorite recipe that can be made at any time, but   …Continue Reading A Taste of India for Special Occasions!

Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People posted on Mar 27

This week marks the commemoration of National LGBT Health Awareness Week. At DPH this is not only an occasion to celebrate the strides that we as a Commonwealth have made in reducing disparities in health care and health outcomes among people who identify as lesbian,   …Continue Reading Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People

Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015 posted on Mar 27

The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in the Commonwealth over the past seven days, which is consistent with what we would expect to see at this point of flu season. Flu does however continue to be present   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015