Guidelines for Creating a Work at Height Safety Policy
If your company requires employees to work above 4’ in general industry and above 6’ in construction, it is important that you have a policy in place for working at heights. While 4’ and 6’ might not seem all that high, people have died or suffered serious injuries when falling from these...
Three Components of a Personal Fall Arrest System - Part 1: Anchors
Falling while working at height represents the number one cause of death in the construction industry and the number two cause in general industry.
Experience has shown us that people seem to be making the same fundamental mistakes while managing work at height.
The objective of this series...
Skylights: An Often Overlooked Fall Hazard
If somebody was walking on a construction site and saw a large hole in the roof with nothing around it, they would immediately recognize this as unsafe. It is an opening that leads you to a 30’ drop onto a hard surface.
Skylights are less obvious. Where the drop still exists, there...
8 Mobile Anchor Points To Use When Working at Height
Falls remain the number one killer in Construction. Try as we might, we seem to have difficulty changing that fact. The overwhelming majority of fall fatalities occur because the worker was either not provided with proper fall protection, was not trained in its use, or chose not to use it...
How to CORRECTLY Calculate Fall Clearance
Whether it’s working from a boom lift, walking steel, standing on an elevated order picker, or any of the myriad other reasons you may be working at heights, “tying off” will do you no good if your personal fall arrest system allows you to strike the lower level before it stops your fall. ...
Three Dangerous Attitudes that Lead to Fatal Falls
Despite efforts to reduce falls, they still remain the number one killer in construction. They also account for approximately 12% of fatal occupational injuries across all industries (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.t01.htm). We educate, inspect, and discipline, yet falls continue to...
Should Safety Be Incentivized?
This is the million dollar question, isn’t it? For years, many of us in the industry watched as prizes were awarded to workers based on safety performance. Sometimes this meant a group lunch or a t-shirt, but other times it was something as big as a truck or boat being given away. This...
Three Warning Signs a Fall is About to Occur
"It was just a freak accident."
"There was no way we could have seen that coming!
If you haven’t heard something like this, spend a little time doing incident investigation in an occupational setting. Trust me, it won’t take long. Statements like these perpetuate the belief that accidents...
How to Keep Your Job as a Safety Professional
It seems in life sometimes that getting a job is all about who you know, but regardless of whether or not that is actually the case, once you have a job, there is no doubt that keeping it depends on what you know. In only the rarest of situations is an employer going to continue to pay...
Seven Ways to Save on Safety
In this economic climate, saving money is of utmost importance. However, when it comes to safetyHow do you economize without sacrificing your employee's wellbeing? How can you develop and maintain a great culture of safety while still focusing on the bottom line?
This is a tightrope...
When is a Warning Line Sufficient Fall Protection?
Update: This post was updated in June of 2018 to align with the new Walking-Working Surface Rules posted by OSHA.
Warning line has received a bad reputation over time. Should it have? Maybe. Warning line is the equivalent of someone saying, "Hey, don’t go over there!" When I think of...
Three Safety Cultures – Which One Are You In?
Whenever I deliver a training class to a group of workers for whom I’m also serving as a safety consultant, I explain that there are two things I need to do: 1) Keep them safe and 2) Keep the company compliant.
In that order.
The trick is that if I’m achieving the first one, I am almost...
Are People Walking Around Blindfolded on Your Job Site?
Perhaps you decided to read this because you thought, "Of course not! Everyone knows that is a crazy dangerous, not to mention non-productive." However, studies show that walking and texting are pretty much akin to walking blindfolded.Isn’t this Just Common Sense?
Researchers at Stony...
Best Apps for the Safety Professional
So, everybody's got a smartphone or a tablet, right? If not, what are you waiting for? That little communication device sitting in your hand is no longer just for talking. Gone are the days when you could say the best thing about your phone is that it is rugged enough for your job or it...
How to Spot Risk and Stay Alive
A safety professional may read the title of this article and feel it’s child’s play. How could somebody not know how to look for risk? That same safety professional may even be tempted to use a phrase that I cannot stand: common sense. I once heard a speaker explain that common...
How to Perform a Rooftop Safety Audit
Falls from height are still a primary killer when it comes to workplace fatalities. The rooftop is the most common area where general industry employees are exposed to a fall hazard. Roof access is not necessarily an everyday part of someone's job, so its easier to ignore the safety...
The Dangers of Working in Cold Weather and Ways to Stay Safe
It's that time of year again, when many parts of the country devolve into a frozen, bone-chilling wasteland that sends many of us scrambling to our warm fireplaces, layers of fleece, and mugs of hot (sometimes spiked) beverages. Even parts of the country not usually known for their cold...
Prevent Dangerous Falls By Using The Right Mobile Equipment
Complex fall protection situations arise all the time. Workers find themselves in scenarios where they need to have fall protection and a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) seems to be the only solution available, yet there is no suitable anchor point. This always comes up at the last minute;...
The Dangers of Clearing Snow from Rooftops
The recent accident in Westwood, MA regarding the fall of a worker clearing snow from the roof of a business, underscores just how dangerous this job can be. In this particular instance, the worker fell through a skylight and landed on the ground 25’ below. In light of the situation,...
The Most Common Safety Excuses
If you’ve been a safety professional for any amount of time, you could probably write a book based on the excuses you’ve heard regarding why a worker or a company failed to adhere to safety rules and regulations. The excuses range from ignorant to absurd – from entertaining to...
Seeing the Big Picture: A Holistic Approach to Safety
Some say the concept of multi-tasking is an illusion – that our brains are not actually capable of doing two things at the same time. Even the things we refer to as multi-tasking (i.e. – answering an email while writing a report and participating in a conference call) are actually short...
Spotlight On: Skylight Fatalities
The headline out of Jacksonville, FL reads, “OSHA: Roofing worker’s death ‘preventable’”. As an EHS professional, I feel like I should be able to come up with a better retort then, “Well, duh,” but it seems to be awfully appropriate here. Preventable incidents – preventable deaths –...
OSHA’s Adding Inequality to Injury – Not What We Thought!
In March, OSHA released a report detailing what they call the true cost of not protecting employees. This report goes far beyond the usual business case for safety that most of us are taught to make when we first assume a title that includes the word “safety”. In that business case, we are...
Four Ways to Prepare for an Incident
As safety professionals, our focus needs to be on prevention: proactivity keeps workers from being hurt in the first place. In recent years, with incentive programs under fire, there has been a push for companies to focus on leading indicators (such as safety meetings attended, near misses...