Falls are 100% preventable, so making fall safety a top priority should be at the top of every company’s agenda.
Falling while working at heights is the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2014 there were 22,330 injuries and 359 deaths due to falls in the construction industry alone. For companies looking to reduce injuries and death, making fall safety every day’s leading goal is key. Explore tips from the NSC on making safety a top priority every day.
Making Safety a Leading Priority
Falls are 100% preventable, and there are obvious scenarios that present fall risks, like working on roofs, scaffolding, and ladders. However, falls don’t always occur when working at a high level. According to the NSC’s “Injury Facts 2017,” 50% of all fatal falls in 2014 happened from 20 feet or lower, and 12% were from heights of less than 6 feet. The NSC recommends that companies plan ahead, assess the risk of the job at hand, and use the right equipment—including the tools and machines to get the job done and the fall protection gear that will save a worker if a fall does occur.
Tips in each area include:
- Everyone on a jobsite should discuss the tools, machinery, and safety equipment needed.
- Explore if a job can be completed without working at heights.
- Ensure everyone is trained in all tools, equipment, and safety gear.
- Wear proper footwear.
- Never work in inclement weather; check weather forecasts.
- Have company safety protocols and enforce them.
Assess the Risk
- Scan every jobsite for potential hazards.
- Put a focus on safety every day with trainings, morning meetings, safety assessments, etc.
Use the Right Equipment
- Use only the correct tool or equipment for the job, and use it as intended.
- Follow safety protocols for ladders, scaffolding, trenches, etc.
- Never use old or damaged equipment.
- Inspect equipment, tools, and safety gear before every shift.