There is a reason why fall protection is a hot topic when discussing safety in the workplace; it’s simple – falls remain the leading cause of worker fatalities in the construction industry. With Fall Protection being the #1 most cited OSHA standard, it is important to have not only the proper fall protection equipment, but the proper training; as an employer, it is your duty to be proactive and set up the workplace to prevent employees from falls and injuries.
For this reason, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a variety of compliance assistance resources to raise awareness of common fall hazards in construction, educate employers and workers on fall prevention, and reduce the number of fall-related injuries and fatalities. According to an OSHA News Release published in January 2019, the resources available include (but are not limited to) the following:
- The sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction – This annual event is scheduled to take place May 6-10, 2019. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”.
- A series of fall safety videos show how to prevent construction-related fall hazards from floor openings, skylights, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, reroofing, and leading edge work. The videos review how quickly workers can be injured or killed on the job and are intended to assist those in the industry to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards. Most of the videos range from two to four minutes in duration and are presented in clear, easily accessible vocabulary, and show common construction workplace activities.
- OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide provides a lesson plan for employers including fact sheets, posters and several Toolbox Talks. The training guide will help you plan how to prevent injuries and fatalities from falls among your crews, as well as provide training for your workers.
- Fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding provide guidance on the safe use of these types of equipment while performing construction activities.
- A brief video, 5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls, encourages employers to develop a fall prevention plan and to provide workers with fall protection and training.
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