It has been reported that nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. Due to much of the work being dangerous, the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is much higher than the national average for all industries. Potential hazards in the construction industry can include falls from heights, trench collapse, scaffold collapse, electric shock, failure to use the proper personal safety equipment and repetitive motion injuries. As an employer, it is important that your employees are trained in all areas of their job including safety, making them aware and able to avoid the potential hazards that come with their jobs.
While employees complete tasks during their daily routines, following the proper safety precautions is important to their health and safety. As an employer, keeping fall safety in the front of everyone's mind happens when you keep your employees aware of the most up to date training. Keeping them safe should be on top of everyone's list. When it comes to safety training, especially in construction, employers must make sure their employees are trained in specific areas to help prevent falls in the workplace. These areas include ladder safety, scaffold safety and roof safety.
Keeping up to date on fall safety training can be overwhelming but OSHA has provided numerous resources which are publicly available on its website at www.osha.gov. Using these resources, employers can train their employees on safe practices to avoid falls in construction during toolbox talks. Falls can be prevented when employees understand proper set up and safe use of equipment. As an employer, keeping fall safety in the front of everyone's minds will help keep accidents to a minimum on site.
As said earlier, the three most common safety training measures on a worksite are Ladder Safety, Scaffold Safety and Roof Safety. Following the most basic training in these three areas will help employees complete their jobs safely and efficiently.
- Ladder Safety includes safety measures such as maintaining three points of contact at all times. Place the ladder on level footing and remain facing the ladder when in use. Secure the ladder by locking the metal braces at the center of the ladder. And when you are on the ladder, don't overreach.
- Scaffold Safety includes safety measures such as fully plank scaffolds, complete all guardrails, ensure stable footing and plumb and level during setup along with making sure a competent person has inspected the scaffold before anyone uses it. Ensure proper access to scaffold without climbing over cross braces or standing on guardrails. And never use a ladder on a scaffold.
- Roof Safety includes measure to avoid fall hazards and properly use fall protection equipment when on a roof. Personal Fall Arrest Systems should be checked to make sure they are not defective when in use and to make sure the harness hits. It should always stay connected/tie off and all anchor points should be inspected for safety. Any openings, holes and skylights should be protected with warning lines or guardrails and should never be walked on.