Losing Balance Upon Standing; Do Construction Workers Perceive the Problem?
- Angela T. DiDomenico (Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety) | Raymond W. McGorry (Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety) | Michael F. Blair (Liberty Mutual Group) | Yueng-Hsiang Huang (Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- August 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 56 - 61
- 2011. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 31 since 2007
- Show more detail
The construction industry is one of the largest sectors of the U.S. economy, employing 7,439,000 people in 2009 (BLS, 2009). Although worksite safety has improved, incidents continue to occur, causing numerous fatalities and injuries to workers.
Falls account for the most fatalities and are the second most common cause of nonfatal workplace injuries in the construction industry (CPWR, 2007). Loss of balance often is a contributing factor in falls (Hsiao & Simeonov, 2001), although it is not always clear what factors cause the imbalance. One possible factor is the transitory nature of construction work activities that requires workers to perform tasks in awkward postures and frequently transition to a standing posture before proceeding to the next task and/or location.
OSHA has requirements regarding fall protection ranging from training to personal fall protection devices. Fall protection devices may be active [e.g., personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) such as horizontal and vertical lifelines] or passive systems (e.g., guardrails and safety nets).
In general, fall protection is used to react to a loss of balance and eliminate or minimize injury. A proactive approach is for workers to perceive situations that place them at risk so they can employ techniques to maintain balance. At this time, it is unclear to what extent workers can perceive fall risks, particularly those associated with standing up after working in a nonerect posture.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||6|