You’re up on a ladder. You only need to reach over an extra couple of inches. You know you should get down and move the ladder over, but you’re short on time. Besides, you’ve done it before and nothing bad happened.
Unfortunately, it’s that way of thinking that – the complacent way of thinking – that commonly leads to incidents and injury.
Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. In fact, they’re the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. So what can (and must) be done to reduce falls?
Simple steps include securing cords away from walking areas, using non-skid rugs, cleaning up spills immediately and, before climbing a ladder, cleaning mud or other substances from your shoes that could cause a slip.
For employers, OSHA requires the following:
– Provide fall protection at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces and six feet in the construction industry
– Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers
– Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and hand rails
– Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured
– Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover)
– Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway
– Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand
For more information about fall protection, preview RedVector’s fall-related prevention courses.