FALL PROTECTION: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Some tips you should know about fall protective equipment and how to prevent employees from being injured from falls.
One in five worker deaths last year were in construction with more than 100,000 injuries occurring as a result of work-related falls. According to OSHA, the most frequently sited workplace safety violation is failure to provide fall protection.
Scaffolding accidents are among the most common in the construction industry.
Take a look at the photo of the man working on the scaffolding.
Do you find anything wrong with this picture?
This man is in a very dangerous situation. The odds are not in his favor when it comes to preventing a terrible accident. To keep this worker safe, he needs to be wearing fall protection. This worker should have been provided a safety harness from his employer.
Falls are still occurring too frequently and although we know fall protection is available, it is often overlooked and this is when injuries can occur.
Here are some tips you should know about fall protective equipment:
Inspect your equipment before each use.
Replace defective equipment. If there is any doubt about the safety of the equipment, do not use it and refer questionable defects to your supervisor.
Replace any equipment, including ropes, involved in a fall. Refer any questionable defects to your supervisor or check with the manufacturer.
Every piece of fall arrest equipment should be inspected and certified at least yearly or more often by a trained and competent person. Keep written records of inspections and approvals.
It is advisable to use energy absorbers if the arresting forces of the lanyard alone can cause injury.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions about:
the purpose of the device,
instructions and limitations on use,
the stretch distance of the harness,
instructions for fitting and adjusting,
recommendations for care (cleaning, maintenance, and storage) and inspection,
the purpose and function of the fall arrest indicator,
a warning if a fall occurs or inspection reveals an unsafe condition that the device be taken out of service until it has been determined safe for use or destroyed, and
instructions for proper application, use, and connecting to full body harness of any evacuation device.
To prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers should:
Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).
Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and hand rails.
OSHA requires employers to:
Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.
Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.
Schedule a consultation with our safety experts today to evaluate your safety hazards and challenges, plan for your safety equipment needs in a cost effective way and determine training and education needs.
SHEBS has a nationwide network of expert EHS professionals who can provide the services and training you need to properly protect your employees and prevent injuries.
Have a safe weekend!