Hy-Brid Lifts Safety Blog
WORK SAFE: 5 Ways to Prevent Falls in Construction
Published May 6th, 2019
May 6 to 10th is National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction, a voluntary event where employers take a break during the work day to address fall hazards and other safety issues on the job site. Learn more about how you can get involved by checking out the resources OSHA has available.
Falls continue to be a leading cause of death in the construction industry. THESE DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE! Follow these 5 tips for preventing injury and death from falls.
1. IF YOU'RE WORKING AT 6 FT OR MORE, USE FALL PROTECTION
No exceptions. Even if you’re just working at height for a short period of time, it is essential that you use fall protection. 6 feet might seem like it isn’t that high but a fall form that height can still do a significant, even permanent, amount damage. Make sure your workers have a healthy paranoia about the dangers of falls and understand how always using fall prevention can prevent them.
2. BEFORE STARTING A JOB, MAKE A FALL PREVENTION PLAN
Working at height isn’t something that should be impulsive. You need to inspect and understand the area where the work will take place in an effort to prevent a fall. You also need to know, if a fall happens, you are providing your worker with the equipment and information to survive without injury. You need a plan. And you need to share and discuss that plan with your workers. If you don’t have a fall protection plan in place, this document from OSHA is a good resource.
3. PROVIDE WORKERS WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT FOR THE RIGHT JOB
This can be providing proper fitting harnesses and lanyards and other PPE to do the job safety. It could also be exchanging ladders or scaffolding for mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs), a safer alternative that also increases productivity. If you choose to use MEWPs, select the right size for the job. Using a 19 ft scissor lift can increase the risk of crush hazard in 90% of indoor applications. Read more about the impact safer equipment can have on your jobsite.
4. TRAIN EVERYONE TO USE THE EQUIPMENT SAFELY
Make sure everyone is trained to use the equipment, not just the people using it. Why? Everyone needs to be a safety inspector. Every worker in the vicinity needs to be able to identify if equipment is being used correctly and safely. Each worker must also be familiar with the equipment so that, in the event of a fall or accident, they can respond with the proper action; whether its rescue, call a medic or whatever the situation calls for. The goal is that your workers respond with speed and confidence so that valuable time is not wasted and no one is injured further as a result.
5. INSPECT YOUR HARNESS, LANYARD, AND ANCHORAGE POINT BEFORE EACH USE.
If you fall your harness, lanyard, and anchorage point will be the only thing preventing you from falling to your death. Make sure the harness is the correct size and it is not damaged. Make sure you lanyard will properly absorb the shock from the fall and that it is the proper length. If it isn’t you could break your back or hit the ground before it does the job it was intended to do. Lastly make sure the anchorage point isn’t damaged and is in the correct position.
If you follow these guidelines and implement a culture of safety within your business, you stand a good chance of preventing injuries and death from falls on your jobsite.