Do You Know Where Fall Hazards Are Present in Your Workplace?

Fall protection is a safety standard that applies to nearly every industry. According to OSHA, fall prevention safety standards were included in the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2014 (From OSHA.gov).

OSHA created the annual campaign called the National Safety Stand-Down with its intent to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction. Falls continue to be the leading cause of death for construction workers. It is critical that all employers and employees in all industries communicate directly about safety and learn to identify the conditions and behaviors that cause falls.

The following identify some specific conditions and behaviors that cause falls:

Stairways:
– Carrying objects that block the view of the steps
– Running
– Failure to use the handrail
– Working in areas cluttered by objects
– Inattention

Ladders:
– Use of ladders that do not suit the job
– Use of ladders that are in poor condition
– Improper ladder placement
– Improper ladder use
– Reaching/leaning too far
– Using a step ladder that is too short

Scaffolds:
– Using scaffolds without guard rails or toe boards
– Using poorly constructed scaffolds
– Using scaffolds without bracing to prevent sway
– Rushing your work

Floor Openings:
– Working around uncovered floor openings
– Working near floor openings that have been insufficiently covered
– Working around floor openings that have been insufficiently marked

Wall Openings:
– Failing to ensure that wall openings are barricaded
– Working near wall openings that may break easily
– Failing to tie-off when working near exposed wall openings

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a fall prevention training course describing the basic components of a fall protection program including identifying fall hazards, how to use fall arrest systems and equipment, ways to develop controls for safe work practice and maintaining fall protection equipment.

Use the Safety Pyramid to Encourage Accountability

fire extinguisher safety

Ignoring the root causes of incidents that occur within your workplace can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities, sooner if not later. Addressing the underlying issues within your organization is essential to preventing OSHA-recordable incidents and saving lives!

Although less severe incidents occur more often, they are the ones that typically go completely undocumented. According to the Safety Pyramid, for every ten thousand unsafe behaviors and hazards that are observed, there will likely be one serious injury or fatality.

The Safety Pyramid compares the frequency of different types of incidents, ranging in severity from generally unsafe behaviors and hazards, to incidents that end in serious injuries or fatalities. While you may not want to spend the time and effort to officially document minor incidents, it is these recurring near misses and unsafe behaviors that reveal the internal problems within the organization. If they go uncorrected, they will eventually lead to more serious incidents. Don’t neglect minor incidents or deem them as insignificant.

Make it a habit to observe, investigate, and document each incident thoroughly – no matter how minor. The Safety Pyramid is a reference tool that can help to encourage an effective safety culture within your organization and promote accountability throughout the workplace.

Watch a video on the safety pyramid: