Falls continue to top the list of fatalities in construction year after year, so OSHA has once again decided to roll out its “National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.”
As I set out to write this article, I Googled the phrase “worker died,” figuring I would be able to find a couple of articles from the first quarter of this year to use as examples of the men and women we honor on Workers’ Memorial Day. Instead, the first five fatalities I found barely took me back to mid-March.
How often have you seen a good, solid safety system on a building’s roof? Most often, there’s nothing at all except maybe a couple of handholds. Here are some of the biggest offenders we’ve seen.
If you’ve been trained in Aerial Lift operation (if you’re operating aerial lifts at all, then you should have been), you should already know that fall protection is required, according to OSHA and according to the lift manufacturers. But why?
So, you’ve decided to buy a Safety Gate! Great! But you know it’s never that easy. As with any other purchase, there are questions to be answered and options to be selected.
We’ve discussed skylights and the associated fall hazards in a number of blog posts, and our point of view has always been in looking out for the well-being of a company’s employees. If building owners don’t have employees that will have any reason to access their roof, then it doesn’t matter to them what kind of hazards exist. Yet, what they’re not taking into consideration is that their employees aren’t the only ones who might access the roof.
Take a look around the neighborhood you live in. How many fences do you see? Probably quite a few, right? And, where you see fences, how many have no gates? I would venture to guess that the answer is “very few if any.” That’s because a fence is put up for a reason: to keep animals and/or people either in your yard or out of your yard. Without a gate, the fence cannot truly serve its purpose.
When you use a safety harness the lives and well-being of workers are preserved. There is no discrediting this. But, sometimes, that isn’t the whole story.
In reality, the vast majority of the time, a roof won’t be affected by snow and attempting to clear the snow will be a much greater hazard than just waiting for it to melt on its own. However, that’s not always the case.
If you live in a part of the country where winters mean snow, ice, and blustery cold winds, you know that outdoor work and work at heights present a unique set of hazards to workers.