The number one cause of death of workers in the construction industry is falls. According to OSHA, 294 workers died due to falls in 2013 alone. Out of all the 796 fatalities in construction that year, nearly half were caused by falls. Additionally, more than 10,000 construction workers were seriously injured because of fall-related incidents at work.
Something can be done to improve these statistics—and it starts with you. Consider OSHA’s three steps to prevent falls: plan, provide, and train. These precautionary measures can help you to establish a fall prevention program and promote safety at work.
When prepping for any job, your planning efforts are crucial in increasing your workers’ efficiency and safety. For jobs that require working with heights, choose the most appropriate option, such as scaffolds or ladders. Before the workday begins, have the equipment examined to ensure its safety before using them at work. Look at the entire situation from Point A to Point Z to ensure that each base is covered. If you are creating a job estimate, make sure that the projected costs of security equipment or tools needed to prevent falls are part of your plans.
Workers who are greater than 6 feet above the ground are at risk of fall-related injury or death. Provide your workers with the necessary safety equipment to prevent falls, just as you would provide them with the right tools for the job. Safety gear, harnesses, ladders, and scaffolds are all part of the provisions that may prevent falls in construction. Note that there are appropriate gear and climbing equipment for particular jobs. Understand which equipment or personal fall arrest system (PFAS) is best suited for the particular task. Keep your equipment up to date and have routine safety checks.
Planning ahead and providing the right safety equipment can be a solid start. But the safety gear will be ineffective without the proper knowledge of how to use the equipment. Training workers on the appropriate setup, usage, and the importance of the safety equipment is the final step to prevent falls in construction. Being trained on hazard recognition or even the rationale behind fall protection systems is as necessary as the equipment itself. Workers are your most valuable commodity—so don’t hesitate to take these steps to protect their safety on the job!