Does experiencing an injury claim impact small construction company leaders' participation in a fall protection survey?

David Hurtado, Leah Greenspan, Michael Vogt, Layla Mansfield, Ryan Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Workers in small and medium residential construction companies (≤50 employees) have a high risk of fall-related fatality or disability. However, little is known about effective ways to engage with this subsector for research and training. We tested whether insurance-documented fall-related claims during the past 12 months and lower familiarity with equipment motivated companies' representatives to engage with a fall protection survey. Methods: Oregon's largest workers compensation insurer drew a random anonymous sample of small and medium residential construction that did (n = 197) and did not (n = 195) have a recent fall-related claim. Samples were stratified by size, trade, and region. Company representatives were emailed a 34-item questionnaire about equipment familiarity to enter a raffle to win fall-prevention equipment. We coded survey engagement binarily, indicating whether a participant completed at least half of the survey. Familiarity with 10 pieces of equipment was measured with a scale from 0 (never seen it) to 3 (use it frequently) points. Results: The survey was initiated by 88 out of 392 representatives (22.4% response rate). Of those, 63 representatives provided the company identifier which was needed to establish claim status. Survey engagement was higher among representatives from companies with claims compared with those without (57.6 versus 42.4%, P = 0.16). Equipment familiarity was lower among company representatives with lower survey engagement (1.15 versus 1.56, P < 0.05). Conclusions: The survey had a relatively encouraging response rate for a hard-to-reach sector. The large but not statistically significant difference in survey engagement rates suggests that adverse events motivate companies to engage with fall protection research. Low equipment familiarity in the sample substantiates the need to identify effective engagement methods for fall protection practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-902
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020


  • Accidental falls
  • Construction industry
  • Occupational injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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