Work at Height - National Safety Council

Work at Height

23% of Non-roadway Fatalities*

Work at height is when a worker is exposed to falling four to six feet or more from an unprotected edge where a person could potentially fall, injure or kill themselves. Work at height dangers may include objects falling from a height, falls from the same height or the sudden arrest of a lifeline. Work at height is regularly performed in professions such as firefighting, tree trimming, roofing, steel working, window cleaning, wind turbine work and more. 

Survey Says: The NSC 2020 Safety Technology in the Workplace Survey shows: 42% of workers reported performing work at heights, and 30% said work at height has caused or contributed to a serious workplace injury.

The information in each section below is listed in the order of relevance to the hazardous situation.

Situational risks – inherent to the situation or proximate cause of injury
  • Fall to lower levels 
  • Falling objects
  • Injury from sudden arrest of lifeline
  • Fall at same height
Systemic risks – contribute to injury but are not direct causes
  • Worker behavioral failure
  • Leadership failure
  • Scaffolding/platform failure
  • Lack of training
  • Fatigue
  • Worker wellbeing
  • Adverse weather

Relevant Technology Solutions

* Safety Technology 2020: Mapping Technology Solutions for Reducing Serious Injuries and Fatalities in the Workplace

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