When reporting injuries in the workplace, studies show that falls tend to be the most common cause of serious work-related injuries and deaths. It is important for employers to set up the workplace proactively by reducing the risks involved in working at heights. Investing in the proper fall protection equipment, along with knowing the OSHA regulations, will keep your employees safe and the company free from fines.
Setting up the workplace environment to prevent employees from falling is a dual responsibility of both employers and employees. Staff need to know the regulations and have training in wearing fall arrest systems as well as having guardrails or fall protection measures in place.
The risks of falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations or openings in the floor and walls are many. These risks can be prevented with guardrails, safety gates, industrial fall protection netting, warning lines and fall arrest systems. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in long shoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.
In order to prevent injury from falls in the workplace, OSHA states employers must:
- Guard every floor opening where a worker can accidentally walk. According to OSHA, the use of guardrails and a toe-board or a floor-hole cover would prevent falling.
- Provide guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway. OSHA 1910.23(d)(1)Every flight of stairs having four or more risers shall be equipped with standard stair railings or standard handrails as specified in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (v) of this section.
- Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment, guardrails and toe-boards must be provided to prevent the worker from falling and getting injured.
- Depending on the work environment and the job description, other means of fall protection equipment may be required to keep the employee safe. Safety equipment such as safety harnesses, fall arrest systems, safety nets, guardrails and handrail systems may be needed to prevent serious injury from falls.
- Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
- Keep floors in work areas a clean and dry condition.
- Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
- Train workers about job hazards in a language they can understand.
W.S. Safety Technologies takes fall protection safety very seriously. Providing the best possible fall protection equipment and staying on top of the latest Government compliant rules and regulations is what we strive to do best.
Please contact us today so we can help you with all of your fall protection needs.