Falling at work is the leading cause of fatal/catastrophic incidents, especially from ladders and roofs. Fatal on-the-job falls increased by 17% in 2004 countrywide. To address this issue, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) hosted the International Society for Fall Protection (ISFP) Fall Protection Symposium this past June 14-15 in Seattle, WA, in conjunction with ASSE’s annual conference. Both were held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the increase in workplace falls was led by a 39% increase in the number of workers who were fatally injured after a fall from a roof (from 128 fatalities in 2003 to 178 in 2004) and a 17% increase in the number of fatal falls from ladders (from 114 fatalities in 2003 to 133 in 2004) in the U.S. About 88% of the fatal falls from roofs involved construction workers, compared with 54% for fatal falls overall.
Fall restraints, fall arrest anchors, design criteria, standards and training were the leading symposium topics. A recent National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study concluded that more than twice as many workers were injured from non-use or misuse of personal protective equipment than from lack of access to such equipment.
Attendees came from around the globe to attend the ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition (PDC) with more than half being safety directors, managers and engineers.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is a professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property, and the environment.