CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: 3 Ways to Prevent Falls
It is difficult to study data correctly in the construction industry because of the diversity of job tasks and employers, variations in workforce skills, weather conditions and work environments. A typical construction workplace changes daily, and the type of work varies from demolition, new construction, repairs, additions, reconstruction and cleanup. Add in the turnover of workers.
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely. PROVIDE the right equipment. TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.
However, according to OSHA falls are the leading cause of death in construction. In 2020, there were 351 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities (BLS data). The saddest part of this data is these deaths are preventable. To prevent falls employees need to understand proper set up and safe use of equipment. Below are 3 areas to focus on to keep your workers safe working in construction.
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.
When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
PROVIDE the right equipment
Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job.
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: 3 Easy Ways To Prevent Falls
Choose the right ladder for the job and always maintain 3 points of contact. Secure the ladder and always face the ladder. Falling Off A Ladder Can Kill >
2. Falls from scaffolds can be prevented
Scaffolds should be fully planked and ensure proper access to scaffold. Scaffold should be plum and level and complete with ALL guardrails. Ensure stable footing. Have scaffolding inspected before use by a (competent person).
NOTE: OSHA requires employers to provide training by a competent person to each employee who is involved in erecting and/or disassembling a scaffold. A competent person is defined as one who:
- Is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards.
- Has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate such hazards.
3. Falls from roofs
Wear a harness and ALWAYS stay connected. Make sure your harness fits. Use guardrails and lifelines. Inspect all fall equipment before use. Guard and cover all holes, openings & skylights.
Learn about our Fall Protection Training Courses