In 2013, there were 291 fatal falls in construction and they were all preventable. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Many of these deaths re from ladders, roofs, and scaffolding where employees are not doing the proper techniques, wearing safety harnesses or are just not trained enough. There are three simple ways to prevent falls: Plan, Provide and Train.
Plan ahead to get the job done safely.
When working from heights, employers should plan out how the job should be done safely. You need to decide how it will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment will be needed to complete those tasks. Costs of a job should include the cost of safety equipment. When working on a roof, you must take into consideration the many dangers of holes, skylights, and leading edges and should have things such as personal fall arrest systems.
Provide the right equipment.
If workers are six feet or more above lower levels, risk for serious injury or death increases if they fall. Employers should provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job. Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs and employers should provide their employees with the kind they need to get the job done safely. If harnesses tied to an anchor are used, they should be regularly inspected to insure that it is in good condition and safe to use.
Train everyone to use the equipment safely.
When workers understand the set up and the proper use of the safety equipment falls can be prevented. They need proper training on the equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train employees on hazard recognition and the proper use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection and any other equipment the will use.
For unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes, it is best to use guard rails then fall arrest systems such as safety nets and harnesses. You should cover and guard floor holes as soon as they a created. Floor hole covers should be able to hold twice the weight of employees and equipment that may be imposed on it at any given time.
Portable ladders should always be inspected before use. The side rails should extend three feet above the landing. It should be the type of ladder that can handle the weight of the employees and any equipment or materials used. You should make sure the weight does not make the ladder slip off its support. You should also only use ladders that meet OSHA standards.
Using these safety techniques can and will prevent deaths from falls. It is important to prevent these deaths because it so easy to die from a fall of any height.