Preventing Falls on Construction Jobsites

Every year falls top the list of injuries that occur on the construction jobsite.  They are the leading cause of death to construction workers every year. These deaths are preventable though.  OSHA has been partnering with organizations to help raise awareness of construction falls and how they can be prevented.  Now you can help do your part protecting workers and yourself by being more aware of fall hazards on the jobsite.

Planning ahead helps prevent falls

Job sites are an ever changing environment. Even if you visit them every day there is always something new that you will come upon.  That is why it is important to be prepared for the task you are going to complete. Working at heights exposes workers to the risk of falls and injuries.  It is important to consider what if any addition Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), tools or equipment might be needed to complete a job safely. Using the appropriate ladder, scaffold or lift to access work is important to reduce the risk of injury.  In addition being tied off while performing that work with a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) will reduce the severity of injury should you fall anyways. Many times we see worker putting themselves at risk because they have one simple task to complete and don’t think that a fall can happen in just a few seconds.  A fall can happen quickly and unexpectedly for many reasons. Loss of balance, collision with other workers, over extending to reach work, these are all reasons that a fall could happen. We need to ensure that our workers are prepared with the right tools and equipment to perform the job in order to prevent falls.

Proper training helps reduce risk

Just providing the right equipment is not enough.  Workers need to be trained to properly use that equipment and to identify hazardous situation.  Every worker should be provided with training that helps them identify the hazards they may be exposed to.  This could be provided in the form of OSHA courses or specific training provided by their employer. Education material is readily available via OSHA and other organizations to help train your employees.  In addition they should each be trained how to properly operate and utilize the equipment you have provided to them. This included ladders, scissor lifts, scaffolds and PPE. What good is a harness if you don’t wear it right? Or what good is a scissor lift if you drive it off the edge of the building?  As you can see training is just as important as having the tools available to you. We need to protect our workers and training is a great place to start.

 

Falls are preventable.  With the right training, equipment and resources we can greatly reduce the risk of deaths on our projects.   Reach out to one of our team members to day on how we can help you identify hazards and train your employees to work properly around them.

 

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