In 2015, the BLS reported 350 fatal falls to a lower level. These accidents alone accounted for 37% of all worker fatalities in the United States. How do you ensure that your workers who are working at heights are safe? OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign page on their website provides some tips that can go a long way in reducing the number of these 100% preventable deaths. Although these tips may seem like common sense, if they were actually followed, there would be a dramatic reduction in injuries and fatalities from falls.
Planning is key. For each job, prepare ahead by talking through the hazards at that particular site. Will there be openings in the flooring or scaffolding needed to access parts of the building? Once you’ve identified the hazards, you’ll have a more accurate idea of what types of safety equipment need to be delivered to the site before work begins.
Use right tool for the right job. Each project is different. The safety equipment needed for one job may not be the right fit for the next one. There are a variety of different types of ladders, scaffolding, and fall protection systems. Each type serves a different purpose.
Educate your crews. Providing the right safety equipment is only half of the battle. Training your workers on the correct way to setup and utilize the gear is essential for a safe job site. Providing initial training, refreshers, as well as periodic inspections to make sure that the safety equipment is still in good repair is vital to preventing unnecessary injury or loss of life.
Each fatal fall that takes place on a job is one that could have been prevented with the right planning, correct equipment, and training on how to use it. The most important part of preventing fall-related injuries is ensuring workers go home to their families at the end of the day. It also helps to shield business owners from costs associated with workers compensation and litigation that’s often associated with injuries and deaths on the job. Safety pays.