The construction industry is not without its dangers. In fact, in 2014, falling was the leading cause of death at over 39%. The risk for falls is also present in a number of other industrial, warehouse, and installation positions. For example, workers on cell phone towers are at high risk of falling as well. In the same year, 12 tower workers fell to their deaths. OSHA is taking these statistics very seriously and want industries to understand the implications of not having proper safety plans in place. Here are some ways employees can be protected from falls on the job.
Provide Safety Training
Knowledge about the dangers of falling on the job is the first step in prevention. Train your staff, and your managers, to better understand how falls happen, how to protect against them, and what to do in case of emergency. Training should occur on a regular basis and be updated often even with staff that has already been trained. All new employees need to have a safety orientation that includes information about fall prevention on the job.
Have an Action Plan
While organizations can create programs to prevent falls, accidents do happen for a variety of reasons. If someone falls on a job site, it is essential that an action plan is in place to make sure they get the help they need quickly. Safety managers should be assigned. Your workers should have access to emergency contacts and how to proceed if something happens.
Issue Safety Equipment
It is also the responsibility of the employer to provide adequate safety equipment to all employees. In the case of workers who climb, harnesses that can catch them if they slip should be standard. They must be trained how to use these items properly and safely as improperly used safety equipment can be just as dangerous. These items need to be provided free for employees.
Keep Conditions Safe
Lastly, prevention starts with ensuring that an environment is safe. In the case of a warehouse, ladders and stairs must be secure, have the proper non-slip treads, and hand rails. Guard rails, toe kicks, and other safety measures can be in place around holes or on catwalk systems. For construction or outdoor workers, have safety plans for inclement weather and ensure that scaffolding is safe and secure.
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