Falls happen, but the more we can prevent them and put into place systems to protect us from becoming injured, the safer we’ll all be. Slip, trip and fall hazards are all around us, especially on jobsites. While there are many factors contributing to falls, the most frequent causes include human factors (54%), wet or slippery surfaces (25%), housekeeping issues (16%), ladders (2%), stairs (2%) and poor lighting (1%).
Prevention is key to reducing the number and severity of falls.
Verify loads are secured and properly rigged, know the weight of each load being lifted, use whistles and horn to alert workers when hoisting material, and avoid working under moving loads.
Tether tools at heights and along leading edges, communicate with others below when working at heights, barricade area below to notify others, and secure loose materials to prevent items from blowing off the building.
Secure materials to prevent falling, sliding and rolling, do not excessively stack pallets or store material on broken pallets, and store materials horizontally so they do not lean.
Materials Near Guardrails
Store materials back away from guardrails and leading edges, inspect and maintain guardrails, and ensure nets and toe boards are in place to prevent items from falling.
Make sure all two-inch by two-inch holes or larger are protected with covers that are secured to prevent being dislodged, mark covers with “HOLE”, and clean up loose material and debris to prevent items from being kicked through open holes.
Fall Arrest Equipment
Use fall arrest equipment such as full body harnesses, positioning belts, lanyards and self-retracting lanyards. Your equipment should be set to not allow a fall of more than six feet or for you to come into contact with the surface below. Inspect each component of your fall arrest equipment regularly and use it properly - not doing so could risk saving your life.
Establish Good Habits
Adapted from Construction Safety Week Fall Protection Toolbox Talk, 2020.
Chambers Construction is a commercial general contractor based in Eugene, Oregon. Since 1955, we've been building what's important in peoples' lives. If you have an upcoming project, let's talk.