Safety Alert – Fall Prevention Update
Falls result in more than 300 construction worker deaths and thousands of injuries annually in the United States. Such incidences on the job are the result of unprotected roof edges; roof and floor openings; unstable scaffolds, ladders and structural steel; leading edges; open shafts and more.
What is a Fall Hazard?
A fall hazard is anything in the workplace that could cause an unintended loss of balance or bodily support, which results in a fall. This includes the following:
- A worker walks near the edge of a loading dock and falls to the lower level.
- A worker falls while climbing a defective ladder.
- A weak ladder collapses under the weight of a worker carrying tools.
- A worker carrying a heavy box falls down a staircase.
The vast majority of fall hazards can be identified and eliminated or controlled before they result in injuries.
When fall protection is needed make sure the following three simple steps are in place:
- Make sure you have the right fall-protection system implemented.
- Schedule training for how the fall-protection system works.
- Use the system.
When a hazard cannot be eliminated with guardrails or safety nets, personal protective equipment (PPE) – fall-restraint systems, personal fall-arrest systems, or work positioning systems – will be necessary. Restraint systems keep you from falling and fall-arrest systems stop falls. You will need a full-body harness if you use one of these systems.