Construction Safety Talk Series: Fall Hazards

5-2-2016 Fall HazardsAccording to OSHA, Fall Hazards are defined as: Anything at your work site that could cause you to lose your balance or lose bodily support and result in a fall. Fall Hazards led to 349 construction worker deaths in 2014 (40% of construction site fatalities).
By identifying these hazards, and understanding how they happen, we can take steps to protect ourselves.

Types of Fall Situations and What to Be Aware of:

Roof Edges, Roof and Floor Openings, Structural Steel and Leading Edges
Roofing falls are the leading cause of roofing injuries and fatalities. Roofing, siding, and sheet metal work have the highest rate of occupational injuries and illnesses for a non-manufacturing industry.

Improper Scaffold Construction
Falls from improperly constructed scaffolds can result in injuries ranging from sprains to death. Guardrails or personal fall arrest systems for fall prevention/protection are required for workers on platforms 10 feet or higher.

Unsafe Portable Ladders
You risk falling if a portable ladder is not safely positioned. While you are on a ladder, it may move and slip from its supports. You can also lose your balance while getting on or off an unsteady ladder. Falls from ladders can cause injuries ranging from sprains to death.

Fall Prevention / Fall Protection

  • Plan ahead.
  • Train everyone to use equipment safely.
  • Understand your company’s written fall protection plan.
  • Inspect fall protection equipment and devices before each use.
  • Use fall protection equipment that is right for the task, fits properly, and is in good condition.
  • Make sure that floor holes, open shafts, and riser penetrations are protected by sturdy guardrails or covers.
  • Contact your supervisor if you see fall hazards or have questions about fall prevention.

Do not work until unsafe conditions have been corrected!