(As part of Fall Protection Week, Brian Neely from Werner Co. presented on fall protection & ladder safety to the Spaeder team as well as Turner Construction.)
As many of you know, the week of September 14th 2020 was Fall Protection Stand-down Week sponsored by OSHA. Falls are one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry, and it is vital for all companies to take some time to discuss the potential impact a fall can have – both at work and at home. It also provides an opportunity for employees to ask questions regarding proper fall protection, discuss methods of fall prevention and review the OSHA fall protection standard.
As a company, we recognize two different types of fall prevention methods. First, you have your standard fall arrest systems. These systems are designed to “catch” you if you fall. We often have to get creative while still ensuring we follow safe use principles (ABC’s of fall protection) while evaluating an area. We also make sure that we have a rescue method in place before utilizing this type of system.
Second, we look at fall prevention methods. These are methods that prevent you from even being able to fall in the first place. Some easy examples of these include but are not limited to, barricades (permanent and temporary) as well as a standard harness/retractable that will not let you access the fall hazard.
Additionally, at Spaeder, we cover fall hazards from ladders. Although this may not be as commonly discussed, it is a very real danger for us as a company and across our specific sector of construction. Teaching employees how to properly use a ladder, the different types of available ladders and then coaching them to select the correct one when the time comes are key factors to ensure ladder safety. We pride ourselves on offering a variety of ladders and are always willing to try new ladders that come across the market.
Although we took one week to specifically focus on fall hazards, these hazards exist every week of the year. The only way to begin to eliminate these hazards is by recognizing that they are always present and by carefully evaluating every situation in order to implement appropriate safety procedures. It is also important to have the proper items available to employees and to make sure they know how to use them.
We all come to work with the intention of being able to sustain and support ourselves and our families, but we cannot do this if we practice unsafe acts that could lead to injury or worse, death.
Stay safe everyone.