Falls from heights are a major concern on construction sites. Proper equipment and usage, as well as training, can help reduce falls and the costly associated expenses.
Fall Hazards on Construction Sites
- Fixed scaffolds
- Floor openings
- Bridge decking
Falls in Construction Statistics
- Falls are the number one cause of death in the construction industry.*
- Falls account for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the construction industry.*
- 200+ construction workers are killed each year int he United States from falls.*
- 10K+ construction workers are injured from falls each year int he United States.*
Fall Prevention in Construction
- Assess construction site hazards to determine the appropriate equipment needed for a job.
- Invest in proper equipment. Ensure it’s used appropriately and with caution.
- Inspect and remove any fall exposures. Secure materials so they don't fall.
- Train employees on fall protection, equipment inspection and disciplinary action for ignoring safety precautions.
- Document safety training activities and non-compliance with protocols.
- In advance of beginning work each day, run through the day’s tasks, required tools and potential job site hazards.
Fall Protection Safety
Types of Fall Protection
- Anchors are a secure point of attachment. They must be able to support the intended loads and provide a sufficient factor of safety.
- Body support is typically a full body harness. It provides a connection point on the worker for the personal fall arrest system.
- Connectors, like shock-absorbing lanyards or self-retracting lifelines, connect a worker’s harness to the anchor.
DESCENT AND RESCUE
- Descent and rescue devices are used to raise or lower a fallen injured worker to safety, or retrieve him from a confined space.
Check Construction Equipment Before Every Use
Checklist of safety questions to ask
- Is all hardware free of cracks, burns or corrosion?
- Do all working parts move freely, including buckles and snap hooks?
- Are all plastic pads and keepers in place and free of cuts or cracks?
- Are the webbing and rope free of any cuts, frays or broken fibers?
- Do any tears, abrasions or discolorations exist?
- Is stitching intact, or are the stitches pulled or cut?
- Are all labels present and fully legible?