According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls from elevation are one of the leading causes of death on construction sites. Such falls are the cause of over 800 hundred fatalities each year.
Since safety must be the first priority on every construction project, there are a multitude of important measures that should be taken to prevent falls and protect workers. In order to minimize fall-related risks, certain hazards must be assessed before work begins: covering holes and installing safety nets below bridges, for instance, can mean the difference between life and death. Providing adequate safety gear and up-to-date equipment is an employer’s responsibility, as well.
The usage of faulty scaffolding or damaged, rusting ladders that rest on shaky ground creates ripe conditions for harmful accidents to occur. The implementation of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), which help to anchor workers during many high rise construction projects, has proven to be a great safeguard against falls as long as the accoutrement adheres to the mandatory safety criteria and workers know how to use it.
Training employees to understand how to use such equipment properly and ensuring that they recognize perils involved in their labor are very critical steps in maintaining the security of a work site. For instance, forgetting to buckle the belt of a PFAS harness could place a construction worker in serious danger of injury. Making sure employees wear appropriate shoes, understand how to work around the weather, and have an unobtrusive environment are also good ways to decrease the risk of tripping or falling.
In addition, something seemingly simple can pose a real threat to workers’ welfare; if a construction worker operating several feet or more above ground does not realize the possible implications of careless footing or allowing oneself to be distracted from the job at hand, he or she puts his or her life and wellbeing in jeopardy. Even to believe that carrying tools while climbing a ladder is probably an insignificant mistake shows ignorance that should be rectified before a laborer gets thrown off balance in the process.
Management of the safety for any construction site is no easy task as these few examples illustrate, so depending on hard hats and a caution sign is hardly enough. In order to keep construction workers out of harm’s way and a work site functioning competently, considering the assistance of a reliable safety services firm that specializes in employee training is a smart decision to make.