Falls in the Workplace

With Spring in full swing and Summer around the corner, it is time to address the number one killer in the construction industry, falls!  During 2013, over 4600 deaths were recorded in private industry – 828 came as a result of a fall.  All of these worker deaths could have been avoided.  Here are some tips to avoid falls for you and your workers:

If your job site has you and your workers on upper floors or at the tops of buildings and / or other structures:

  1. Wear a safety harness – and make sure the harness fits.
  2. Have the edges of buildings, levels, and floors clearly marked.  Guard rails and lifelines are always suggested.
  3. Guard or cover roof holes, ground holes, skylights, or any other potential small fall hazard.

If you regularly use a ladder at your job site:

  1. Make sure the right ladder is in use for the job at hand.
  2. Always have the ladder facing in the correct direction and anchored evenly and properly.
  3. Always use three points of contact with the ladder.
  4. Never extend a ladder from a scaffold.
  5. Never stand at the top of a ladder and never attempt to overreach while on a ladder.

If your job site involves scaffolds for some of the jobs:

  1. Make sure the scaffold is the right size for the job.
  2. Always have the scaffold anchored properly.
  3. Boundaries on the scaffold should have safety bars and lines.
  4. Inspect the scaffold before use and after every work day.

Some other tips to make sure your workers lessen fall risks:

  1. Wear slip resistant shoes.
  2. Inspect all safety harnesses, ladders, and any other pieces of equipment that will be used at heights – before and after every work shift.
  3. Proper lighting should always be the norm for walkways and other danger areas on the job site.

These are some of the many tips that can help save you and your workers an unnecessary fall injury or death.  For more, visit OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.

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