Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Most of these deaths are preventable. The bulk of falls happen from roofs, scaffold, and ladders. Those who work in construction have to operate on these elevated surfaces. For the safety of workers, it is critical that employers take a stand to prevent falls. Employers must provide the necessary fall prevention education and equipment. Here are 5 safety tips to avoid construction falls.
Employers Must Provide Safety Training and Equipment
Here are 5 tips to prevent falls on construction sites:
1) Be Mindful of Slip and Trip Hazards
Construction workers may not think of slip and trip hazards as fall hazards. They are included under the fall category. Back, neck, ankle and knee injuries, which can be brought on by slips and trips, account for the greatest number of lost time cases in the construction industry.
Workers should watch for ground elevation changes. They should also ask for the proper safety equipment. Remember that OSHA requires a step or stair when employees must step up or down more than 19 inches.
Employers should provide a safe work environment. For example, muddy conditions can lead to issues. Employers should consider putting down rock or routing workers elsewhere. Paying attention to the work environment can reduce injuries and save workers.
2) Plan the Work in Advance
Planning the project in advance helps productivity and safety. We all get busy and often want to jump right in. Project managers and supervisors should look at the work to be completed. They should determine what safety equipment will be necessary. By looking at what type of work to be done, the types of tasks and tools that will be involved, and accessing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), workers can better prepare for the workday ahead.
Also, by planning in advance, the cost of safety equipment can be worked into the job estimate. That way the funds necessary to pay for all safety equipment are available.
3) Use the Right Equipment for the Job
By planning the job out, you will know what fall protection is necessary. Using the right equipment can save lives. When used properly, beamers, retractables, rope-grabs, beam straps, butterfly anchors, concrete plunger anchors and retractable lanyards can all prevent injuries.
4) Provide Training
When OSHA issues a fall protection violation, they also usually issue a lack of training violation as well. Providing the right safety equipment by itself is not enough. Employers must train workers on the proper use of the equipment including its limitations, how to care for it and when it is needed.
5) Plan. Provide. Train.
These three steps can protect employees. Employers need to plan ahead to get the job done safely and efficiently. Make sure your company has rules in place to protect workers. Make sure the proper PPE is provided and used. Before the job starts, employees must be trained on the safe use of fall protection.
When employers neglect these steps, workers can be injured and killed. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one to a construction fall, Chelsie King Garza can help.