People don't, which is an obvious reason why workplace safety officials and regulators steadfastly focus on adequate protections being in place for employees working at heights.
Falls are consistently highlighted as a predominant safety concern for workers in California and across the country employed in myriad industries in activities ranging from roofing and window washing to cell tower maintenance and virtually every other work endeavor that takes them off the ground.
Falls kill. A ranking official with the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls roofing operations "inherently risky," adding that only strong safety programs can materially minimize injury risks for employees working at heights.
Safety officials with Cal/OSHA can be easily empathized with as they voice extreme frustrations concerning workers' falls in the state.
The reason: Falls comprise one type of worker injury that is preventable in virtually every instance through adherence to basic safety precautions.
Relevant accident-related numbers readily bear that out. A recent article discussing roofing fall-related hazards reports that about 75 percent of the 126 Cal/OSHA post-accident investigations carried out between 2012 and 2014 revealed some lapse in employers' safety programs.
That won't be condoned going forward, say safety officials, with the Cal/OSHA spokesperson cited above stating that California employers "must have strong safety programs."
To help ensure they do, government inspectors will be conducting targeted inspections of roofing companies statewide until November of this year.
Although Cal/OSHA stresses that the goal is foremost to raise safety awareness, not to punish, authorities have the clout to summarily halt a project and bar work resumption until observed hazards are eliminated.