The leading cause for construction accident deaths is a fall. In 2010 alone there were over 264 fall related fatalities out of the total 774 total construction fatalities. Since these deaths are preventable, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration started a Fall Prevention Campaign with three simple steps to prevent future accidents.
Step 1: Plan
Plan ahead when working from heights. Decide how the job will be done and what tasks are involved then ensure you have the safety equipment that is needed for each task. Include safety equipment costs into the overall job costs.
Step 2: Provide
Provide the right equipment for workers. Provide fall protection equipment, including the right kind of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear. The type of ladders and scaffolds vary for different jobs, so it is imperative to provide workers with the correct type for the job that is being done.
If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker. Also make sure the PFAS fits correctly and conduct regular inspections of the equipment to ensure that it is safe to use.
Step 3: Train
It is imperative to train workers to use the equipment the RIGHT way. Make sure that workers understand how to properly set-up and safely use all of the equipment and ensure that they are well versed in hazard recognition as well.
Our office has seen the end result when the above steps are NOT taken, so we fully support OSHA’s campaign for fall prevention. If the proper steps are not taken, a worker may become injured or killed. Do what you can to prevent construction fatalities and help create a safer environment for everyone!