Falls from heights are yet to remain the major cause of occupational injuries and casualties in the construction industry. The newest data received from OSHA demonstrates, as of now over 30% of occupational deaths are caused by trips, falls, and slips in the U.S. No wonder, having an effective fall protection system in place is the only way to abate the major injuries and mortalities. As per Jason Wible Frenchcreek, conducting a diligent analysis to figure out the possible fall hazards, utilizing proper equipment, training and regular inspection of the tools should be the priority to get a concrete solution.
Analysis Of Fall Hazards Areas
According to him, when it comes to the analysis of potential fall hazards, this should begin with the factors and things that contribute considerably to falls in the construction business. This includes scaffolds, ladders; elevated work sites, roofs, etc.
Prevention Of Fall
After having fall hazard analysis will give an insight into three primary practices to defend fall protection by having proper control. The steps include
Fall Elimination: As per OSHA guidelines elimination of fall hazards is possible through better engineering of the worksite and plan, redesigning the process of the job, using equipment that is designed to prevent fall hazards, use of aerial lift or scissor lift with platforms in the work site.
Fall Prevention: Preventing employees who work at height from potential fall can be effectively achieved by using double guard rails, top rails, and safety harnesses along with lanyards that not only helps employees to work at heights but let them work keeping their hands free and to stop them from moving to unprotected risky edges.
Fall Restraint: A fall restrain system differentiates the form of a fall arrest system. Precisely, while the objective of fall restraint is to stop employees from having access to fall hazard areas via a tie-off system, fall arrest typically lets a fall take place however, arrests the wearer and thereby lessens major injury or death to happen after the fall.
According to Jason Wible Frenchcreek, although most employers undertake all needed precautions as per the guidance of OSHA, unfortunately, falls take place. While it is minimized in terms of numbers, having more control is the best step to stop it from happening.
Controlling The Fall
When the type of job needs enough mobility of the worker and often makes them perform adjacent to the fall hazard areas, outfitting them with a personal fall arrest system is a must-have. This is specifically vital when workers need to ascend and descend ladders, or carry out their job near unprotected edges, sides, and slopes.
In general, a PFAS comes with anchorage points as well as body harnesses of similar kinds, however having some differences in them may get a better outcome. For instance, a safety harness with a self-retracting lanyard or lifeline. This kind of lanyard allows a wearer to move freely on the worksite. The lanyard gets activated and draws back on the basis of the movement of the user. Its retracting action ensures the lifeline remains stationary. Thus when a fall or sudden speed or pressure is detected, its break is triggered while stopping the fall to happen. However, the workers need to be trained to properly use it.
Training And Inspection
- Training employees to properly don the fall protection equipment.
- They should be taught about the right process of doffing the tools and properly storing them.
- They should be duly informed about how to work at the fall hazard sites.
- They should be trained about the proper use of safety harnesses, positioning harnesses, and fall restraint systems.
Finally, the fall protective equipment should be checked for wear and tear. The equipment embraces guardrails, grates, anchorage points as well as safety harnesses, and others.