Anchor points and horizontal lifelines are two ways to achieve the same purpose: protecting your employees from a fall. Each method has its pros and cons, as well as appropriate and inappropriate times for use. Perhaps, though, the most important question to ask is: should you use them at all? Anchor points and horizontal lifelines are part of Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) which means that in order for them to come into use, a fall must occur. Even with properly installed and used systems, injuries could still occur.
Here is a friendly reminder to practice safe work habits.
Let’s be honest: not everybody has the personality to be a trainer. It’s easy to hand somebody some information and say, “Here, go teach this to your workers,” but can they do it in such a way that their audience will actually retain that information? Pre-job safety meetings, also known as “Toolbox Talks” because of their common use in the construction industry, are often performed on a weekly basis by a crew’s foreman or supervisor. These individuals don’t necessarily have any training or skills in training other people. Here are some tricks to the trade that can mean the difference between having your workforce learn some vital information and providing your workforce an extra 10-15 minutes of nap time.
To say insurance is not cheap would be an understatement. We live in a litigious society that requires you to ensure your company is protected no matter the cost. A good broker will help you find the best deal on insurance policies, but even then you could be eligible for further discounts. The problem is that many companies do not realize which programs are available to them. Sometimes discounts are available for things they are already doing with their health and safety programs.
Manufacturers have made great strides in occupational safety technology. In fact, for almost every situation there is a solution. Roof anchors are a perfect example. Obviously, one roof can be very different from the next, so an anchor point used on one can be completely useless on another. The fact that temporary and/or mobile anchor points exist is great, but it is more important that in addition to using them, you ensure that you are using the correct one.
Regardless of how much effort OSHA, the EHS industry and employers put into fall prevention, falls continue to occur. In a perfect world, all efforts to prevent falls would be 100% successful, but it’s not a perfect world. Failure to take measures to reduce the impact of an actual fall is like refusing to learn CPR because we teach our employees to eat well and exercise. Sometimes, employee behavior, unexpected conditions, or even forces of nature can derail what was believed to be a “fool-proof” prevention plan.
There are many different types of railings on the market, not to mention the 2x4 or wire rope job-built railings you find on many construction sites. The quick and simple answer to “What height must a railing be in order to be compliant?” would be 42”, but, as with many other things in the world of governmental compliance, there are some nuances to that answer.
Have you ever stood on a roof of a commercial building or near the perimeter of a building under construction, looked at the railings, and wondered, “I know the railings are keeping me safe, but how did they get there?” I mean, at some point, some worker had to be risking his or her life to put up the rails that would protect your life, right?
It’s no secret in the world of Safety that falls are one of the major causes of fatal injuries in the workplace and the number one killer in construction. A fact that flies a little more under the radar is that in the past decade 43% of all fall fatalities have involved a ladder. Yet, tell an employee you’re going to train them on how to use a ladder and you’ll most likely be subject to looks of incredulity.
When a company doesn’t plan ahead or take the time to do a job hazard analysis, unsafe work conditions can sneak up on them. This lack of diligence means that employers often reach for the “quick and easy” solution. That solution is usually PPE. While Personal Protective Equipment is very useful in mitigating hazards to your employees, it should never be the first choice