229047 Green jobs and worker fatalities: Causes and prevention. The California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Laura Styles, MPH , Occupational Health Branch, Public Health Institute/CA Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA
Robert Harrison, MD, MPH , Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA
Henri Cierpich, BS , Occupational Health Branch, Public Health Institute/California Department of Public Health, Lakewood, CA
James Rogge, MD, MPH , Consultant, Chicago, IL
The California Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has established the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (CA/FACE) program for the surveillance and investigation of fatal work injuries. The goal of the program is to prevent fatal work injuries by identifying high-risk work processes, developing prevention strategies, and informing those who can intervene in the workplace. The State of California's commitment to zero waste and sustainable energy will result in the continued growth of green jobs. The challenge is to ensure that these jobs are safe for workers. Five CA/FACE fatality investigations involving “green jobs” took place during 2008-2009. Two workers were installing rooftop solar panels when they died: one worker was electrocuted and fell to his death after a 20-foot metal bracket made contact with a high voltage power line, the second worker fell through a roof skylight after he tripped while carrying solar panels. Three workers were crushed in cardboard baler or bottle bale breaker machines when part of their bodies entered the machinery, pulling them in. Employers should develop, implement, and enforce a fall protection program, ensure safety programs include electrical hazard recognition, and conduct a daily job hazard analysis of the work area before solar panel installation begins. Additionally, machinery should be guarded by barriers or safety gates, and lockout/tagout procedures should be implemented and enforced when machinery is being serviced.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the projected rate of growth of the solar industry in California and nationally Identify workplace hazards unique to green jobs Describe fatality prevention recommendations

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Work-Related Fatalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the project manager of the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.