Falls are the number one cause of death for a construction worker. And the source of most industrial accidents. Most of these deaths are preventable. Construction workers most often falls from ladders, scaffolding, or roofs. So how can these deaths be prevented?
In short, safety protocols and equipment can help prevent construction falls. Unless necessary precautions and equipment are used on-site, the risk of workers falling from heights is always present. In order to make the workplace safer for workers, employers may need to adopt technological solutions or at least train the workers accordingly. An example of the former might be the use of remote control technology, which allows machine operators to safely operate their machines at a distance. Wireless remote controls (learn more on remote control system safety) allow users to operate heavy machines in zones that are unsafe. Below are similar suggestions that could be implemented in the workplace to ensure the safety of construction workers.
Tips for Preventing Construction Falls
1) Be Mindful of Slip and Trip Hazards
Construction workers may not consider slip and trip hazards to be fall hazards. These falls often cause back, neck and knee injuries. Slips and trips lead to the highest number of days lost from the job.
Workers need to be aware of ground elevation changes. They should also be provided a ladder when necessary. Conditions on the job that make tripping or slipping more likely should be corrected. For example, the only pathway to the other side of a job site should not be through the middle of a bunch of hoses or pipes. An employer paying attention to job site conditions can make a big difference in reducing worker injuries.
2) Plan the Work in Advance
Planning the project in advance helps increase productivity and safety. Before the job is started, the necessary safety equipment should already be available. Thinking about this in advance allows the cost of the equipment to be built into the bid. Not to mention, workers are ready to go from the time the work starts. Having the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from places like Unigloves available on site allows workers to tackle every day safely.
3) Provide Training
OSHA often issues citations for lack of proper training along with citations for fall protection violations. Providing safety equipment on its own isn’t enough. Employers must give safety training to go along with it. Employers must train workers on the proper use of the equipment including its limitations, how to care for it, and when it is needed. For instance, someone who is starting work may not know how to operate walk behind rollers, and only proper training lessons can teach the person how to work with such heavy machinery.
Also, provide the right fall protection for the job.
4) Plan. Provide. Train.
These three steps can protect employees. Employers need to plan to get the job done safely and efficiently. Before the job begins, employers must provide the necessary fall protection and train employees on how & when to use it.
When employers neglect these important steps, workers can be injured and killed. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one to a construction fall, Mynor E. Rodriguez will be on your side to help. Contact him today.