Falls are among the most common causes of work-related injury and death, making fall protection extremely important. Yet too often fall hazards remain unchecked, exposing workers to risk and businesses to liability. If workplace fall protection isn’t currently a top priority, ClickSafety explains why you need to seek training and address fall hazards as soon as possible.
Why are Workplace Falls So Serious?
When you imagine a dangerous workplace fall, tall buildings may immediately come to mind. Keep in mind, however, that serious injuries and even death may occur any time a worker falls. In fact, research conducted by the National Safety Council reveals that in 2016 alone, 697 workers died after a fall to a lower level. Another 48,060 were injured seriously enough to miss work. And in the same year, 134 workers died after falls within the same level.
By adhering to OSHA standards and best safety practices, it’s possible to eliminate or minimize workplace hazards to reduce the number of falls and keep employees safe. Yet fall-related standard violations make up nearly half of the top ten most commonly cited in 2019, including:
- #1 Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)
- #3 Scaffolding (1926.451)
- #6 Ladders (1926.1053)
- #8 Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)
With these figures in mind, it’s important to remember that most falls are preventable. With appropriate tools and training, you can avoid hazards and stay safe on the job.
Fall Protection Best Practices
Businesses must take fall protection seriously to stay compliant with OSHA regulations and keep workers safe. To ensure you’ve put proper fall protection protocols into place, begin with the following best practices.
Keep floors clean and dry: water, oil, and debris can make floors, walkways, and other work surfaces dangerous for workers.
Eliminate known hazards: if you are aware of any fall hazards, take appropriate steps to remedy them. You should also encourage team members to report any hazards they encounter.
Provide personal protection equipment (PPE): from personal fall restraint systems to fall arrest equipment, every employee should receive PPE that fits securely and is adequate to their assigned tasks. Additionally, all PPE should regularly undergo inspections and maintenance.
Install required protections: employers must provide protections at industry-appropriate trigger heights to guard against falls. In general, protective measures are required at heights above 4’, but this varies by industry.
Make safety training a priority: information is one of the best defenses against workplace falls. Every employee must be given appropriate training in a language he or she understands to help them identify and report hazardous situations.
To help stay compliant with OSHA fall protection standards, ClickSafety offers courses for general industry and construction. Currently available courses include:
To find out more about which Fall Protection courses are right for you, browse our available courses or call 800-971-1080 to speak with a representative today.