Fall Protection & Safety Tips
Fall protection and safety is a major concern at the workplace. In fact, OSHA cites injuries from falls as one of its top ten worksite injuries. Falls and falling objects can result from unstable working surfaces, ladders that are not safely positioned and misuse of fall protection. Workers are subject to falls or dangers of falling if sides and edges, floor holes and wall openings are not protected. Any time you are working at a height of six feet or more you must be protected.
Unprotected Sides, Wall Openings and Floor Holes:
Unprotected sides and edges, wall openings or floor holes can be very common. If these sides are not protected, injuries from falls or falling objects may result. Use at least one of the following whenever you are exposed to a fall six feet or more above a lower level.
• Guardrail System
• Safety Net System
• Fall Arrest Systems
Additional Safety Precautions
• Cover or guard floor holes after creating them.
• Construct floor hole covers so they will effectively support two times the weight of workers, equipment and materials that may be on the cover at any one time.
• Use fall prevention systems like guardrails, rather than protection systems like safety nets or fall arrest devices.
You also increase your chances of falling if you are using portable ladders that are not safely positioned each time you use them. While you are on a ladder, it may move or slip from its supports. You may also lose your balance while getting on and off an unsteady ladder.
Take the following fall protection measures when using ladders
• Position portable ladders so side rails extend at least three feet above the landing.
• Secure side rails at the top to a rigid support and use a grab device when a three-foot extension is not possible.
• Make sure that the weight on the ladder will not cause it to slip off its support.
• Inspect ladders for cracked, broken or defective parts prior to each use. If a ladder is broken, tag it as defective and remove it from service.
• Don’t apply more weight on a ladder than it is designed to support.
• Only use ladders that comply with OSHA standards.
If we all take the time to follow these fall protection and safety rules, we can be more productive and at the same time significantly eliminate jobsite accidents and Injuries.
Loss Control Associate, CEOHR