Objective: The objective of this study was to review the evidence for the effectiveness of different strategies to prevent falls from heights in the construction industry.
Search strategy: We used the Cochrane Collaboration search strategy to search the following electronic databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, NIOSHTIC, PsycINFO and Dissertation Abstracts. The reference lists from each potentially eligible study were checked, and knowledgeable people in the field were contacted for additional leads to published reports.
Selection criteria: Studies were included if they (1) examined the effectiveness of an intervention to decrease falls from heights to construction workers, (2) included data on one of the outcomes of interest, and (3) included a comparison group.
Main results: We identified only three studies for review. An ecologic study found some evidence that regulations with enforcement may decrease falls in construction industry. Two studies on educational efforts suggested that educational programs may decrease falls but methodologic limitations restricted the conclusions that could be drawn.
Conclusions: There are few data to support the effectiveness of current programs to decrease fall-related injuries in the construction industry. Rigorous evaluation of these interventions is indicated.