Falls in residential carpentry and drywall installation: findings from active injury surveillance with union carpenters

J Occup Environ Med. 2003 Aug;45(8):881-90. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000083037.56116.d4.


Active injury surveillance was conducted with a large, unionized workforce of residential and drywall carpenters over a 3-year period. Injured carpenters were interviewed by trained carpenter investigators and sites were visited where falls occurred. Qualitative information was collected on exposures, risk perception, training, and mentoring. Falls accounted for 20% of injuries. Same-level falls were often related to weather, carrying objects-sometimes with an obstructed view-housekeeping, terrain of the lot, and speed of work. Falls from height occurred from a variety of work surfaces and involved ladders, scaffolding, roofs, work on other unsecured surfaces, unprotected openings, speed, and weather conditions. Recognized fall protection strategies, such as guardrails, toe boards, tying off to appropriate anchors, and guarding openings, would have prevented many of these falls; these practices were not the norm on many sites.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Female
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Labor Unions
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*