How to Ensure Adequate Fall Safety for Your Workers
Adequate fall protection measures should be adopted whenever working at height. According to statistics, you don’t have to be very high off the ground to suffer a fatal fall injury.
More than 8% of the deaths through fall are related to falls from heights of less than 2 metres. In other words, you don’t have to be high up on a fixed access ladder to suffer a catastrophic incident. Falling from a rather short mobile ladder can result in fatal injuries too.
If you don’t want to be prosecuted in a wrongful death lawsuit or pay astronomic worker’s compensation claims, don’t let your workers rely on luck for fall safety. Here are a few ways to ensure your workers are protected at all times.
Be Proactive Regarding the Fall Safety Measures
In a recent survey, employees working in construction industries admitted they feel employers prioritise productivity over safety.
While productivity is undeniably each business’ main concern, remember that your most important asset is your people. That’s why you should be proactive regarding the fall safety measures and provide adequate safety training to your staff.
To do that, you should:
- Plan ahead: Inspect the job site before starting working and assess what must be done to ensure the safety of your workers. Make sure you include all safety equipment in the job estimate.
- Provide the right equipment: From adequate ladders to safety lanyards and other fall protection systems, make sure to provide the right equipment to your workers. A thorough inspection of the job site is a must in this case too, as some areas may require scaffolding only while others may also require fall arrest systems.
- Train your personnel: Training must teach workers to recognize hazards, avoid them, and use the fall safety equipment adequately. It is above all essential to remind experienced workers they are not superheroes and must follow all safety procedures too.
Understand The Difference Between Fall Prevention and Fall Protection
Before working out a fall safety plan, it is also essential to understand the difference between fall prevention and fall protection.
The former refers to safety measures taken to stop falls before they happen. Equipment can include guardrails, demarcation barriers, safety gates, skylight screens, or step units if you’re working on fragile roofs.
Fall protection, on the other hand, refers to safety equipment used to halt a fall before it causes severe injuries or death. Equipment includes safety harness and anchor points, safety lanyards, self-retracting lifelines, and complete fall arrest systems.
Depending on the hazards involved, you might have to establish fall prevention, fall protection, or a complete prevention and protection plan.
Workplace fall injuries and fatalities can result from mere slips at ground level as well as trips off rooftops. Analysing the job site and adopting adequate safety measures is, therefore, essential. If you haven’t established a safe working plan already, it’s time to remember that your workers shouldn’t put their lives on the line. They deserve a lifeline.