How Falls Happen When Safety Rails Aren't in Place

15th Mar 2016

We've recently discussed the prevalence of falls on the construction site and  why safety rails are a must when your team is working on the roof. But how do these falls happen? And why are so many workers injured on the job site from falls? CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training, released a report in 2014 that detailed the latest research on construction falls. They discussed some key findings and what factors put workers at an elevated risk for injury.

Risk Factors for Rooftop Falls when Safety Rails Aren't in Place

  • Working on the roof's edge. Workers who were on the edge of the roof instead of working in the middle were, understandably, more likely to fall and be injured. 
  • Construction laborers and roofers were two of the occupations most likely to be injured from a fall.
  • Age matters when it comes to injuries; workers under the age of 20 and over the age of 44 were more likely to be injured in a fall.
  • Hispanic workers were more likely to be injured, especially if they were from another country. 
  • Workers who were self-employed or worked for small companies of less than 20 people were more likely to be hurt. 

What This Tells Us About Safety Rails & Construction Sites

It's clear that safety rails could have prevented many of these accidents. There is a reason workers on the edge of the roof get injured more frequently; it's much easier to lose your balance or get distracted on the roof and there is very little room to catch or steady yourself. Having a safety rail in place at the roof's edge could prevent a fall. The age of workers being injured is telling, as well, as younger workers may feel invincible and decide that safety equipment is an unnecessary waste of time, and when combined with their relative inexperience, could be what results in injuries being more common for their age group. 

So why are more injuries happening to the self-employed or those working for smaller companies? It's likely a matter of cost. These businesses may be unable to purchase the necessary safety equipment or decide that the cost outweighs the risk. They are wrong. Safety equipment is imperative, and even if you aren't using a safety rail system, some kind of rooftop protection is necessary. Companies such as Safety Rail Company offer rental programs for safety rails so you can get the equipment you need without the expense.

Because falls on the construction site are so common, safety rails have to be in place. If you are planning on working on a rooftop soon, make sure you have the equipment you need. Browse through our online store and find the pieces you need, either a mobile system or a permanent safety rail system for your roof. If you aren't sure how to put a system together, talk to our team. They can provide you with a design based on your roof layout so you'll know exactly what to buy. Give us a call at 1-888-434-2720 today.

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