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Harness Inspection Video

Inspecting your harness is critical to ensuring that you are safe while working at heights. Tomcat, a staging lighting and support system company, has released a video that covers four basic inspection steps to go over before wearing your harness.

When does my walkway need an ADA compliant handrail?

There are three major areas of concern for ADA compliance. Once you have established that your facility needs to be ADA compliant, the three areas of concern are stairs, ramps, and landings/raised walkways.

  1. Stairs: All stairs that fall under ADA compliance must have compliant handrail (ADA 4.9.1). This means that it does not matter whether you have one riser or ten risers, you need railing on both sides of the stair(s)
  2. Ramp: Any ramp that has a rise greater than 6 (inches) or a run greater than 72 (inches) needs to have ADA compliant handrail.
  3. Landings/Raised walkways: Any surface that has a drop off needs to have curbs, walls, railings,
    or projecting surfaces that prevent people from slipping off the edge. ADA leaves the size of the drop off to the interpretation to the reader or more properly to the inspector. A good general rule of thumb is 6 (the height of a ramp requiring a handrail), but check with your local inspector to verify.

When does my facility need to be ADA compliant?

According to the ADA Code of Federal Regulations, anytime your facility falls under one of two categories, ADA compliance is necessary. These categories are as follows:

  1. Places of public accommodation (business that have store fronts, restaurants, hotels, public buildings and parks, government housing, etc)
  2. Commercial facilities that need to be accessed by people with disabilities.

These categories include most buildings except private residences and businesses that have neither front door access nor people with disabilities as employees. Lets use an example to help bring this home.

Example 1: You own a shipping/receiving business that has 10 employees. None of your current employees are disabled and your building does not have a store front that would be accessed by your customers. Your facility does not need to be ADA compliant. However, as soon as an employee is hired that is disabled, your facility (to the extent that it would need to be accessed by such individuals) would need to come into compliance with ADA. This would include your parking lot, restroom facilities, sidewalks, water fountains, public telephones, and, of course, the building itself.

Example 2: You own the same shipping/receiving company with the same 10 employees. Instead of hiring a disabled worker, you decide to turn your front entryway into a reception area where customers can come in and conduct business. Your facility (to the extent that it would need to be accessed by such individuals) would then need to come into compliance with ADA.

Falling into Workplace Safety

OSHA reports that falls are the most frequent cause of fatalities at construction sites and annually account for one of every three construction-related deaths. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states there were at least 442 construction worker fatalities during 2007 as a result from falls. This is a staggering statistic. Contractors have to emphasize the importance of fall protection standards and fall protection systems. Fall hazardsare always a main focus of OSHA inspectors.

Frequently issued fall protection citations include:

  • No guard rails at open sided floors
  • Floor opening not covered or guarded
  • Wall openings not guarded
  • Wire rope guard rails deflecting more than 3 inches

The best plan of action for preventing or altogether eliminating hazardous falls includes:

  • Eliminating the need to work off of the ground (ideal)
  • Fall prevention systems
  • Fall arrest systems
  • Warning lines
  • Safety monitoring
  • Administration of fall protection policies

Major aspects of OSHA 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart M

  • Fall protection must be in place for work areas 6 ft. or higher
  • Walking and working surfaces must be inspected prior to work
  • Surfaces must be strong enough to support workers
  • Guardrails must be 42 inches (plus or minus 3 inches) above working surfaces and capable of supporting 200 pounds
  • Body belts are no longer an acceptable means of fall arrest
  • The employer shall provide a certified training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards

In the beginning.. Simplified Safety’s Genesis

Where We Came From

In January of 2006 we launched a web site called Simplified Building Concepts. This site sold industrial pipe fitting that were used to build various kinds of tubular structures. A primary usage for Kee Klamp fittings is the construction of handrails and guardrails. Through the last couple of years we found ourselves engaged in more and more safety related projects. This led us to the decision to launch an entire web site that was dedicated to safety.

Where We Are Going

This site is focused exclusively on safety products. Here are a couple of things that we're hoping to accomplish through this web site:

  • Create an Extremely Usable Web Site - For a lot of other companies their web site is an after thought -- not for us. The web is the primary interface we have with our customers. Knowing this has motivated us to have an industry leading web site that is second to none in features and usability.

  • Provide Focused Product Knowledge - Have you ever called an industry supplier only to realize that they know nothing of the product that you have questions about? Yeah, we know! That is why we hope to provide you with customer service staff that understand the safety products that we are selling on our site. Our staff is constantly learning more about the safety industry. In addition to being sales people, some of our staff also operate as trainers. So go ahead, ask your safety questions, chances are if we don't know the answer, we'll know just where to find it.

  • Uphold Strong Customer Relationships - If you're calling us just to get the lowest price, you might spend your time better by calling someone else. We do want to be competitive, but we also want to form strong relationships with customers who value the additional services and expertise that we have to offer.

  • Maintain Real Customer Service - Everywhere you go, you hear about customer service these days. The question is: is it real? Is it a marketing slogan and a line on the web site, or is it real. At Simplified we believe in action over talk. If you do not have a great customer service experience, please contact me (Chris Pollock), I'll want to know about it.

Simplified Safety is Looking for Guest Bloggers

If you are a safety professional and youre interested in sharing your industry knowledge and promoting yourself online, please contact us about becoming a guest blogger.

Follow Simplified Safety on Twitter

You can follow Simplified Safety on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/safetyexperts

Simplified Safety is Coming Soon

Were making progress on our new web site.  We are looking for guest bloggers.  If youre a safety professional and youd like to share your safety knowledge, please contact us.

KeeGuard Goes Green with New Recycled PVC Counterbalances

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Fall protection equipment just got a little bit "green".  Kee Safety has released a new counterbalance for its roof top railing system that is made from 100% recycled PVC.   In addition to being "green" the new counter balances are more ergonomic to carry (less weight, integrated handles), safer to walk around (reflective strips and integrated tread) and available in various colors (grey, orange, and custom). 

Find out more about about KeeGuard on our fall protection page and read a detailed brochure about the new PVC counterbalances

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