In the construction sector, falling from heights is one of the leading causes of severe worker injury and death. To mitigate this risk and reduce the incidences of work-related injuries and fatalities, many employers and reputable rigging companies in Florida are amping up their fall protection strategies.
What is fall protection and why is it important?
Fall protection involves a collection of measures and strategies to protect workers from falling or getting severely injured when they fall. Since falling from heights is one of the most common causes of work-related injuries and deaths across many industries, fall protection is a crucial step to protect the lives and well-being of all employees.
What are the OSHA requirements for fall protection?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires all employers to:
- Have working conditions without known dangers
- Provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for free to all workers
- Maintain the cleanliness of all work areas
- Provide adequate training to workers regarding work-related hazards
How can employers reduce falls?
There are several primary strategies that most employers use to protect their employees from fall-related accidents. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Training and education
One of the most crucial ways to protect workers from fall-related accidents is to make sure they are trained and educated about this type of hazard. As an employer, you must provide adequate training and education for your workers (in a language that they can understand) that will help them protect themselves as well as prevent causing accidents for others.
2. Equipment completeness and inspection
Employers are responsible for providing adequate fall protection equipment for their workers, such as safety nets, harnesses, anchor points, and others. The completeness of fall protection equipment will significantly reduce fall incidents and help prevent severe injury or death for workers who do fall.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how regularly you should expect fall protection equipment, but treat it as the minimum requirement. If your equipment is being used more heavily or exposed to a harsh environment, you may need to have them inspected more frequently.
3. Risk management
Identify all possible hazards in the workplace and develop comprehensive management plans to mitigate these risks. Some hazards may go unnoticed, however, especially if everyone has gotten used to doing everything the same way without incident. Therefore, getting a third-party consultant to help identify risks may be necessary.
4. Fast response
When fall protection equipment fails to stop a worker from falling, a workplace should have appropriate response procedures ready. Moreover, everyone in the workplace should know what to do when someone falls from a height, including who to call, where to take the patient, and how to prevent further injury.
In the construction industry and other sectors that have people working from a great height, fall protection is highly important. Aside from protecting the lives and health of everyone on the site, fall protection also keeps employers from being liable for a personal injury claim. That’s why if you own a business that involves working in high areas, you must invest in a good safety procedure.