Developments of skyscrapers have emerged as a major project trend in the construction and real estate industries. However, this has made the construction workers exposed to high-risk work conditions. In fact, work-related fatalities and major injuries have been common in the US industry, particularly for workers who are working in highly raised areas like rooftops and scaffoldings. This is why more and more real estate companies are equipping their workers with full body harness systems as well as hard hats, in the opinion of Jason Wible Frenchcreek.
As per the statistics of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the primary cause of construction workplace injuries and death. While the statistics are quite alarming, the peaceful side is that such falls can be avoided effectively by employers in the workplace provided they proactively reinforce their fall prevention measures and strategies. Moreover, using these measures has been a legal compulsion as per OSHA regulations.
It should be noted carefully that violating the safety codes can lead to compensation claims and lawsuits and hefty penalties apart from other consequences like the loss of production, cancellation of business license, and so on.
Fall Prevention and Fall Protection
Fall prevention refers to embracing the systems in the workplace site that help shun incidents due to falls during their operation. Such preventive measures and tools consist of guard rails, safety net systems, safety harnesses, training of workers, etc.
Conversely, fall protection defines the control adopted to cushion the severity in case any fall happens. Construction businesses must make their workers well-equipped with personal fall arrest systems that chiefly include robust caps and harnesses.
Steps To Prevent Falls
Risk assessments on a regular basis
Regular assessment of risk factors is the first step to preventing falls. Safety officers should assess possible site hazards and address them before the job begins.
A checklist should be made after inspection explaining the condition of ladders, guardrails, scaffoldings apart from full body harness systems, etc. The employer should go through the checklist without fail and suggest if any modification is required. This will help alleviate the risks of falling and accidents.
Providing workers with the needed equipment
To protect against falls, it’s the sole responsibility of the employer to provide the workers those who work in high-risk areas. The PPE should be provided free of cost.
As per the version of Jason Wible Frenchcreek, harnesses must fit property as per the body type and weight of the wearer. Each equipment should adhere to the safety requirements such as ladders, safety gears, scaffolds, and their equivalent. Scaffolds and ladders should stand correctly and stably on the flat spaces.
Assigning qualified workers for the job
Workers engaged in construction workers possess relevant skill sets. It is not at all prudent to allocate someone to carry out someone else’s job due to taking leave, absence, or deficient numbers of workers. Especially those who are sufficiently competent to deal with jobs at heights should be assigned to this job.
Regular training for these workers
Workers used for working at this height must be well-versed in safety equipment and measures that apply to the construction site. They should be provided regular training till they become experts. The training program should include:
- Knowing the significance of fall prevention.
- Method of using equipment such as ladders and scaffolds.
- Techniques to pinpoint defective fall protective equipment.
- Appropriate methods of wearing the full body arrest system including the body harness and ensuring that the anchor and connecting device are fitted firmly and seamlessly.
- Adopting an emergency response method.
According to Jason Wible Frenchcreek, training sessions should be arranged to evaluate the awareness level and aptness of fall protective equipment and measures. Without this, workers and their team members will be vulnerable to possible falling and casualties.