May 6, 2019
Welcome to Day 1 of the “National Safety Stand-Down To prevent Falls in Construction”. Every year the industry sets aside a week to raise awareness of fall hazards in the workplace in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. In 2017 (the last year data is available) 366 of 971 construction fatalities were falls.
An easy way to have a “Stand-Down” is to set aside your normal weekly safety meeting and dedicate it to preventing falls in your workplace. If you don’t have a weekly safety meeting, do a lunch or coffee break meeting, or a meeting before work. Watch a Youtube™ video like Miller’s Fall Protection Road Show. Demonstrate how to use fall protection.
Check at Safetywars.com or on this page for more information this week.
Go to the OSHA website (OSHA.Gov) for more information on how your company can participate.
National Fall Protection Stand-Down Day 1. Fall Protection Hierarchy of Protection.
The best way to manage Falls in the workplace is the Hierarchy of Fall Protection. That is eliminate the hazard prior to issuing Fall Arrest Systems or Administrative Controls. They are commonly listed in the following order:
1. Hazard Elimination. Try to eliminate the hazard. Eliminating it might be as simple as:
a. Clearing a walkway of trip hazards;
b. Running extension cords overhead; or
c. Changing lightbulbs with a specially designed pole.
2. Passive Fall Protection. Placing a physical barrier round an unprotected edge or covering holes. There are specific standards to guardrails like being rated for a side load of 200 lbs., and in some cases having a top rail, mid-rail, and toeboard.
3. Fall Restraint System. Use a harness (Safety Wars™ recommends this over body belts), to restrict a worker’s range of movement so they cannot fall.
4. A Fall Arrest System. If you cannot do 1-3 then use a fall protection harness, appropriate lanyard, and appropriate anchorage point to arrest a fall. This requires special training that most employers who have problems do not do. The duty to have fall protection and lack of training are two common OSHA citations, especially in fatality situations. THIS IS EASILY REMEDIED BY CONTACTING US FOR AN ANSI AUTHORIZED USER CLASS AT firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Administrative Controls. These are the least preferred solution and frankly you are inviting disaster and are NOT Recommended. These include:
a. Safety Monitoring Systems that warn a fall is near.
b. Safety Monitor, that reminds workers they are near a fall. After 10 minutes the safety monitor is usually intimidated into being quiet, bullied, assaulted, or is thrown off the job.
****Administrative Controls DO NOT WORK*****
When do you need to start worrying about fall protection on a project? All the time. People are killed and injured from same level falls and falls from heights, but to simplify things OSHA requires some type of fall protection (see 1 through 5 above) when workers are exposed to falls at or above:
· 6 feet for Construction
· 4 feet for General Industry work
· 5 feet for Shipyards
· 4 feet for Marine Terminals
Contact us for all your fall protection needs our staff has years of experience in managing, fall protection programs.