Research + Tech

CPWR research examines underlying causes of falls in construction

Falls from heights continue to be the leading cause of death and serious injury for the roofing and construction industries. According to 2020 data (the most recent data available) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 353 construction workers died from falls from heights that year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fall-protection standard, 29 CFR 1910, continues to be one of the most frequently cited standards by OSHA.

CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training—recently released findings from a research survey it conducted in the construction industry regarding the underlying causes of falls from heights.

The survey revealed several key findings and cited lack of planning, lack of rescue training and failure to use fall-protection equipment as primary underlying causes of falls from heights. In addition, respondents who believed fall protection was required by their employer were much more likely to use fall-protection equipment compared with those who did not believe it was an employer requirement.

The goal of the survey was to increase understanding of underlying causes while also informing voluntary standards through ANSI/ASSP; create more targeted resources and materials to support OSHA’s national fall-prevention campaign and stand-down; improve outreach and education; influence future research regarding fall safety; and improve collective fall-prevention efforts by safety and health organizations, industry representatives, government officials and other interested parties through data sharing.

NRCA and CPWR continue to foster a longstanding partnership to improve the safety and health of roofing professionals and the construction industry.

For additional information regarding NRCA’s fall-prevention resources and training, contact Rich Trewyn, an NRCA director of enterprise risk management, at

Most organizations remain unprepared for ransomware attacks

A recent survey revealed IT professionals at only one in five organizations consider their organizations as prepared as possible for potential ransomware attacks, according to Boston-based data protection company HYCU Inc.’s 2022 State of Ransomware Preparedness survey included 400 respondents; almost 15% said they are very or somewhat unprepared for an attack.

Ransomware preparedness might not be a top priority for many organizations. A majority of respondents said they spend less than five hours per week on ransomware preparedness, and almost one-third invest less than an hour per week on the matter. More than four out of 10 respondents said they’ve already had a ransomware attack that resulted in infiltration or data encryption.

The gap between perceived and actual preparedness among respondents signifies most businesses are still trying to identify and mitigate points of compromise that could be exploited by attackers.

The survey showed employee training is an underused mitigation strategy. Only two in five respondents said their organizations fully implemented a training program for information security, email and ransomware. One in 10 said his or her organization has no such training at all; others have started the process.

The survey also examined the consequences of ransomware attacks and found organizations’ recovery and response tactics are lacking. Crucial tools and services remain at heightened risk of prolonged ransom.

To minimize downtime, organizations need to assess all systems and categorize them based on business importance, the study concluded. This exercise allows organizations to develop appropriate mitigation and recovery plans in line with potential risks and investments they’re willing to make in each category.

National BIM program will launch

The National Institute of Building Sciences has developed an implementation and launch plan for the U.S. National Building Information Management Program, which aims to reach a new level of efficiency and productivity through digitalization, according to

The program reportedly will create a BIM standard throughout the life cycle of designing, constructing and operating in the built environment. An executive roundtable recently was held to present the plan, including a budget and steps to make the building process more efficient, less expensive and safer during the next five years.

The BIM process virtually builds a structure in a digital environment first, putting each steel beam, floor tile and window in place to work through every aspect of construction before completing it in the real world.

Although the U.S. has been a global leader in developing and implementing BIM applications, the construction industry reportedly has lagged regarding implementing technology that significantly can increase productivity, averaging just 1% productivity growth during the past 20 years, according to NIBS.

NIBS began the planning process for the U.S. National BIM Program in 2021. The program is the result of work from NIBS’ BIM Council, which focuses on the requirements of U.S. building owners to document best practices and provide guidance regarding the adoption of digital technology to increase productivity and performance.

The BIM program aims to help the construction industry by accelerating supply chain effectiveness, providing predictable processes, improving project outcomes, driving efficiency and fostering innovation.



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