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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in fall protection

Just take a look at OSHA’s Fat Cat report and the most common theme on the fatality report is a fall, usually from some sort of construction job site. Fall from heights is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction, accounting for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Each year in the U.S., more than 200 construction workers are killed and over 10,000 are seriously injured, and the statistics for 2016 show that of the 991 construction fatalities, falls accounted for 370. 

Overall, fatality injuries in construction are higher than any other industry in the United States, with the majority of them occurring in establishments with fewer than 20 employees. About two-thirds of those fatal falls were from roofs, scaffolds and ladders. 

Many, if not all, of these deaths could have been prevented with these common-sense safety precautions* including:

Planning ahead to do the job safely before starting each and every job.

Providing the right equipment for working at heights.

Training workers to use the equipment properly and to work safely on roofs, ladders and scaffolds

Preventing Roof Falls

Do's:

Wear a harness and always stay connected

Make sure your harness fits

Use guardrails or lifelines

Guard or cover all holes, openings and skylights

Don’t’s

Don’t disconnect from the lifeline

Don’t work around unprotected openings or skylights

Don’t use defective equipment

Preventing Ladder Falls

Do’s

Choose the right ladder for the job

Maintain three points of contact

Secure the ladder

Always face the ladder

Don’t’s

Don’t overreach

Don’t stand on top or on the top step of a stepladder

Don’t place the ladder on unlevel footing

Preventing Scaffolds Falls

Do’s

Use fully planked scaffolds

Ensure proper access to scaffolds

Plumb and level

Complete all guardrails

Ensure stable footing

Inspect before use

Don’t’s

Don’t use a ladder on top of the scaffold

Don’t stand on guardrails

Don’t climb cross-braces

*DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2012-142, Fall Prevention Fact Sheet - http://stopconstructionfalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Campaign-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Even though construction falls are the majority of fatality-related falls, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 261,000 private industry and state and local government workers miss one or more days of work yearly due to injuries from falls on the same level or to lower levels. Fall injuries are a big financial burden, accounting for an estimated $70 billion annually in the United States through workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with occupational fall incidences. 

To increase awareness for fall prevention, OSHA incorporated National Safety Stand-Down Week five years ago. This year’s event takes place May 7-11. OSHA is asking employers to set some time aside during that week to have an open discussion with employees about falls and how to prevent them. Workplace Safety and Health Co. is here to help you lower employee injury rates. Give us a call at 317-253-9737.

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Heads up – a final rule from OSHA on updating general industry walking-working surfaces and protection standards has been in effect since Mid-January, though the effective dates for several provisions are being spread out over a period that extends all the way to November 2036.

The final rule includes revised and new provisions addressing, for example, fixed ladders; rope descent systems; fall protection systems and criteria, including personal fall protection systems; and training on fall hazards and fall protection systems. In addition, the final rule adds requirements on the design, performance, and use of personal fall protection systems.

Most of the rule became effective January 17, 2017, 60 days after it was published in the Federal Register, but some provisions delayed effective dates, including:
-Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards (May 17, 2017),
-Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (May 17, 2017),
-Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (November 20, 2017),
According to OSHA’s website, the final two protection factors that must be completed by November 2018 are to:
-Install personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures (by Nov. 19, 2018).
-Ensure existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are fitted with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (by Nov. 19, 2018).

Nearly a full 18 years later (November 18, 2036, to be exact), cages and wells (used as fall protection) must be replaced with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet.

Even if your workplace doesn’t take personnel to such heights, there’s plenty of reason to pay attention to potential slip and fall hazards.

OSHA lists falling as one of the most common causes of workplace fatalities. The risks are even greater when a fall occurs to a lower level, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified as the most deadly type of fall on the job.

Workplace Safety & Health Co. stands ready to help workplaces be safe places to tread. We offer courses in Fall Protection and a wide range of other training topics, from OSHA Recordkeeping and Lockout/Tagout, to First Aid /CPR and Excavation Safety (and quite a few in between). Contact us for more information on how we can help your organization stay on a good footing.

Tagged in: fall protection OSHA

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Lists can be useful for many things, perhaps most especially when they offer insight into ways to do something better. In what has become an annual tradition, OSHA recently released its preliminary list of top 10 safety violations for the federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

In general, the list changes little from year to year. FY 2017 was no exception. The top five most-cited violations – Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, Scaffolding, Respiratory Protection and Lockout/Tagout, respectively, ranked the same as they did in FY 2016. The sole new entry to the top-10 list for FY 2017 was Fall Protection Training Requirements, which came in at No. 9.

The announcement of the most recent preliminary list came during the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo 2017 in Indianapolis.

The agency noted that not all violations had been added to its reporting system, but said that the final list was not anticipated to change.

From greatest to least, the top 10 work safety violations as compiled by OSHA for FY 2017 were:
1. Fall Protection in construction (29 CFR 1926.501): 6,072 violations
This category’s frequently violated requirements included unprotected edges and open sides in residential construction and failure to provide fall protection on low-slope roofs.
2. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200): 4,176 violations
Topping the list of violations in Hazard Communication was not having a hazard communication program. The next most frequently violated requirement within this category was not having or not providing access to safety data sheets.
3. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451): 3,288 violations
Common violations in this category included improper access to surfaces and lack of guardrails.
4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134): 3,097 violations
At the top of the list in this category was failure to establish a respiratory protection program. That was followed by failure to provide medical evaluations.
5. Lockout/Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147): 2,877 violations
Inadequate worker training and inspections not completed accounted for the most frequent violations in this category in FY 2017.
6. Ladders in construction (29 CFR 1926.1053): 2,241 violations
Improper use of ladders, damaged ladders, and using the top step were the most violations recorded by OSHA as it closed its books on FY 2017.
7. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178): 2,162 violations
Inadequate worker training and refresher training violations included topped the list in this category.
8. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212): 1,933 violations
Exposure to points of operation were at the top of the types of violations within this category.
9. Fall Protection—training requirements (29 CFR 1926.503): 1,523 violations
Making its debut on the top 10 list, common violations in Fall Protection included failure to train workers in identifying fall hazards and proper use of fall protection equipment.
10. Electrical—wiring methods (29 CFR 1910.305): 1,405 violations

Violations of this standard came from most general industry sectors, including food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing.
Beyond its place as a historical record, the list can be viewed as a tool for shaping future efforts.

“I encourage folks to use this list and look at your own workplace,” said Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, who helped announce the top-10 list at the conference.

Tagged in: fall protection OSHA

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recently released an updated version of its Personal Fall Protection Equipment Use and Selection Guide. The guide provides guidance for fall protection users and administrators in selecting, using, maintaining and inspecting fall protection equipment.

The document is prepared by manufacturers in the ISEA Fall Protection Group and describes the process of developing a corporate fall protection program, explains the components of fall protection systems, provides examples of how to select equipment for various types of work, and outlines steps for planning the use of fall protection systems. The guide also contains inspection and maintenance guidelines, definitions, a list of applicable OSHA regulations and U.S. and Canadian consensus standards, and links to ISEA companies and other sources of information.

Read entire article - https://safetyequipment.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FPUserGuide2017.pdf

Tagged in: fall protection ISEA

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