Deadly Falls "Up"

How can a fall "up" be deadly?  How can you fall "up" anyway? This post isn't about falling up at all, actually. It's about the fact that from 2003 to 2006 fatalities from falls have increased. It's an alarming statistic that continues to plague many industries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks data throughout many industries in the United States.  The yearly totals show an increase of 127 fatal falls over a three-year period. That's an increase of nearly 20 percent!


I am personally baffled due to a couple of observations dating back beyond 2003. One is the amount of fall protection training that is held annually. I know that our company has done around 250 workshops in that time that covered minimum fall protection requirements. And if you add all the other organizations and trade groups doing similar training, it is fair to say that awareness must have risen since 2003.  The other item to consider is improved equipment and fall arrest systems are widely available. If somebody really wants to protect someone from falling, then there's a device or method to do just that.

If your operations involve elevated work, it may be time for a review of how you're performing. OSHA has an OSHA Construction eTOOL that will walk you common hazards and how to avoid them.


Nurses Say Needlesticks Huge Concern

A 2008 survey conducted by the American Nurses Association says needlesticks are a serious concern for the nursing industry. Sixty-four percent of the 700 nurses surveyed said that needlestick injuries and exposure to bloodborne agents were regularly present in their workplace. And 55% said their workplace safety climate negatively impacted their personal safety.

"An overwhelming majority of nurses say that safety concerns influence the types of nursing that they do and their continued practice in the field," says ANA President Rebecca M. Patton. The fear is that this heightened concern may worsen the national nurse shortage.

According to 89% of respondents, increasing workloads and workplace stress are the primary factors that negatively impact workplace safety. This perceived pressure may explain, in part, why 75% of those stuck were not using a safety syringe, which was mandated in 2000.

High Amount of Incidences

Sixty-four percent of nurses report being accidentally stuck by a needle while at work.  These numbers are alarming, but mainly, to me, because they did not decrease from a study done in 2006. 

The top three reasons how accidental needlesticks happened as reported by those surveyed were:
• while giving the injection – 28%
• involving the safety feature – 19%
• disposing of the needles – 19%

To find out what’s being done to address the risk and more, visit