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Showing posts with label Fall Protection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall Protection. Show all posts

Monday, 22 October 2018



“The following training provisions supplement and clarify the requirements regarding the hazards.
  1. Training Program.
    • The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.
    • The employer shall assure that each employee has been training, as necessary, by a competent person qualified in the following areas:
      • The nature of fall hazards in the work area;
      • The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection system used;
      • The use and operation of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems, safety monitoring systems, controlled access zones, and other protection to be used;
      • The role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when this system is used;
      • The limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs;
      • The correct procedures for the handling and storage of equipment and materials and the erection of overhead protection; and
      • The role of employees in fall protection plans;
      • The standards contained in this subpart.
  2. Documentation of training
    • The employer shall verify compliance of this section by preparing a written training record. The written training record shall contain the name or other identity of the employee trained, the date of the training, and the signature of the person who conducted the training or the signature of the employer.



Full Body Harnesses, a connector (for example, a self-retracting lanyard), lifelines and anchors are all part of a Personal Fall Arrest System (or PFAS). The days of having a safety belt and lanyard are over – just too many injuries and deaths to workers.

PFAS is generally required when working at ten (10) feet in the workplace.

It seems that some workers don’t want to take the time to put their PFAS on, or worse, feel they don’t need the equipment. We are sure that every person who was injured or died from a fall would have gladly worn their PFAS if they had only known they were about to fall.

Guide for Discussion
  • Inspect the equipment (harness, hardware, connector, and lifeline) before use.
  • Never use equipment, which is not in good condition.
  • Use only rated equipment. Remember, the PFAS must withstand 5,000 pounds of dead load.
  • Always secure lanyards to a suitable anchor, above your work area if possible.
  • Don’t modify to mix any of the safety equipment.
  • Never allow acids, caustics or other corrosive materials to come into contact with any of the equipment.
  • Store your equipment in a dry place.
  • Replace damaged equipment; remove it from service as soon as possible as it is determined to be defective.
  • Use the equipment required.
Don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security. Always provide yourself with some fall insurance. Regularly wear your PFAS and keep it attached to a lifeline. The life you save may be yours.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Prevent Fall Incidents

Prevent Fall Incidents

Working on a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it's important to plan ahead, assess the risk and use the right equipment.

First, determine if working from a height is absolutely necessary or if there is another way to do the task safely.
  • Discuss the task with coworkers and determine what safety equipment is needed.
  • Make sure you are properly trained on how to use the equipment.
  • Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting the job.
  • Make sure you have level ground to set up the equipment.
  • If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather.
  • Use the correct tool for the job, and use it as intended.
  • Ensure stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open.
  • Always keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder.
  • Place the ladder on a solid surface and never lean it against an unstable surface.
  • A straight or extension ladder should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extend at least 3 feet over the top edge.
  • Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to an upper support.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes and don't stand higher than the third rung from the top.
  • Don't lean or reach while on a ladder, and have someone support the bottom.
  • Never use old or damaged equipment; check thoroughly before use.

Many of peoples are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every year. A fall can end in death or disability in a split second, but with a few simple precautions, you'll be sure stay safe at at work.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Harness Inspection Guide

Harness Inspection Guide

Personal fall protection systems such as harnesses can be a lifesaver for those who continually or occasionally work at heights. However, if it isn't in good shape, you could be putting your life in a risky situation. It is important to inspect your fall protection gear prior to every use.

Always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of your gear for inspections and maintenance requirements. Here are some things to look for:

Harness Inspection
  • Begin by holding the harness up by the D-ring. Bend the straps in an inverted "U." Watch for frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts or chemical damage. Check D-rings and D-ring metal wear pads for distortion, cracks, breaks, and rough or sharp edges. The D-ring bar should be at a 90 degree angle with the long axis of the belt and should pivot freely.
  • Attachments of buckles and D-rings should be given special attention. Note any unusual wear, frayed or cut fibers, or distortion of the buckles. Rivets should be tight and unmovable with fingers. Body side rivet base and outside rivets should be flat against the material. Bent rivets will fail under stress.
  • Inspect frayed or broken strands. Broken webbing strands generally appear as tufts on the webbing surface. Any broken, cut or burnt stitches will be readily seen.
  • Tongue Buckle: Buckle tongues should be free of distortion in shape and motion. They should overlap the buckle frame and move freely back and forth in their socket. Rollers should turn freely on the frame. Check for distortion or sharp edges.
  • Friction Buckle: Inspect the buckle for distortion. The outer bar or center bars must be straight. Pay special attention to corners and attachment points of the center bar.

Lanyard Inspection

When inspecting lanyards, begin at one end and work to the opposite end. Slowly rotate the lanyard so that the entire circumference is checked. Spliced ends require particular attention.

  • Snap hooks: Inspect closely for hook and eye distortion, cracks, corrosion, or pitted surfaces.
  • The keeper, or latch, should seat into the nose without binding and should not be distorted or obstructed. The keeper spring should exert sufficient force to firmly close the keeper. Keeper rocks must provide the keeper from opening when the keeper closes. Closing/locking mechanism should move freely without sticking or jamming.
  • While bending webbing over a piece of pipe, observe each side of the webbed lanyard. This will reveal any cuts or breaks.
  • The outer portion of the shock-absorbing pack should be examined for burn holes and tears.
  • Stitching on areas where the pack is sewn to the D-ring, belt or lanyard should be examined for loose strands, rips and deterioration.

Falls From Any Height

Falls From Any Height

Who needs fall protection equipment? If you said workers building bridges or cleaning office tower windows you would be right. But what about all the workers who work at lesser heights, just a few feet off the ground? They should also be protected from falls - which can be every bit as fatal.

Consider your work area. Are there locations from which someone could fall? What sort of protection is in place to prevent a fall? And is there equipment to stop a fall?

 The situations to be considered are both:

  • Permanent - such as a fixed ladder on a process tank or mezzanine floor where materials are stored.
  • Temporary - such as a scaffold or the top of a loaded truck.

Fall protection equipment is broadly divided into two categories:

  • One is fall prevention equipment. Guardrails and coverings at floor openings and safety-interlock gates on elevated platforms are designed to prevent falls. A body harness worn by the worker can also be used to tether him to an area away from the fall hazard.
  • Fall arrest equipment is designed to save the worker if he falls. He may wear Personal Protective Equipment consisting of a body harness and lanyard attached to a lifeline or an anchor point. Or a net slung below the work area may protect him.

The law in many areas says a worker must be protected if he is exposed to a fall hazard of 10 feet or three meters. But a study has indicated 10 per cent of fatal falls occur at heights lower than that, therefore at current 6 feet and 1.8 meters are to be followed.

Imagine someone falling four feet from a loading dock and striking his head on the pavement. Such an incident could very well be fatal.

Check these areas:

  • Do employees ever have to climb on top of vehicles, to unload tankers, remove load strapping, paint or do other maintenance?
  • Does anyone ever go to the roof? Do maintenance workers service the air conditioner up there? What is the potential for falls?
  • Do you ever do painting of the facility during slow work periods? Are scaffolds built safely according to regulations?
  • Floor openings created by construction work must always be properly barricaded and securely covered.
  • Catwalks over machinery and process equipment must be regularly inspected and maintained.

Safety laws are in place to prevent falls from heights. Be sure to follow these rules to the letter. And look beyond the law. You know a fall hazard when you see one, so report it to ensure it gets fixed.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Inspection Fall Protection Equipment is Necessary

Inspection Fall Protection Equipment is Necessary

Safety should always be the number one priority on any job site. Taking the proper safety precautions and making sure employees are fully aware of all possible dangers is an essential part of running a successful business.

This is especially true when employees are working at heights where fall protection equipment can mean the difference between life and death. In this sense, ensuring that your company's equipment is well maintained and properly inspected is one of the most important things you can do to prevent accidents, injuries and potential lawsuits.

The Importance of Using the Proper Safety Equipment

There is a reason that government safety regulations are so strictly enforced and that companies that don't follow these regulations can face such stiff penalties. It is solely the responsibility of the employer to create a safe work environment and to provide employees with the necessary tools and equipment to perform their tasks with as little risk as possible.

However, just buying the proper safety equipment isn't enough. You also need to make sure that all equipment is properly inspected. Even minor tears or other seemingly insignificant damage can be enough to cause the equipment to fail in case of a fall. This makes it vital that employees remember to fully inspect each piece of safety equipment before use.

Inspecting Your Safety Equipment

All fall protection devices and other safety equipment needs to be in good condition in order to function properly. A tiny tear in the webbing lanyard of a harness can lower its failure point by up to 40 percent, showing just how important it is to fully inspect the equipment each day.

One of the primary components of most standard fall arrest equipment is a shock-absorbing lanyard, which connects the body harness to the anchor point. In the event of a fall, this lanyard absorbs much of the energy from the fall and should help to prevent serious injuries. However, this shock-absorbing capacity can be severely reduced when the webbing becomes damaged. Unfortunately, the synthetic fibers used to create these lanyards can be quite susceptible to all of the following sources of damage.
  • General wear and tear
  • Exposure to paint, solvents, and other chemicals
  • Dirt, grit, and grime
  • Ultraviolet light
Improper Use and Rough Handling

Due to the risk of catastrophic failure, these lanyards need to be inspected daily for any signs of surface or edge damage, cuts and tears or softening/hardening of the fibers. It's important that to take the time to both visually inspect and physically go over the entire surface with your hands in order to detect even tiny cuts or tears. The inspection should always be performed in a well-lit area, and it generally should take 5 to 10 minutes to perform a thorough inspection.

While these lanyards may be easy to visually inspect, most other fall protection equipment isn't nearly as easy to inspect and usually requires specialty testing equipment. This includes testing the strength of anchor points and inspecting welds, bolts, beams, clamps, etc.

Should an OHS inspector show up on your job site, he or she will want to see records documenting these inspections to prove that you've been maintaining your safety equipment as required by law.
Only a fully certified fall protection equipment inspector has the tools, skills and knowledge to do a proper inspection of every piece of equipment. This means it is vital that you either provide one or more employees with the required fall protection training or hire a professional inspector. Not only these inspections required by law, but they'll also go a long way towards ensuring that your employees and your business are protected from any potential accidents.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Fall Prevention

Fall Prevention

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction / erection and height work in recent years  there were many fatal / serious falls to a lower level which lead to maximum fatalities. These deaths are preventable.

As their is  many fall accident in recent year many companies and agency have conducted Fall Prevention Campaign/Training in their work area to raise awareness among workers and employees about common fall hazards in construction/erection and height work, to prevent falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs etc..

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely

When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.
When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
PROVIDE the right equipment

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job. 

Monday, 9 July 2018



Procedures for Rescue of a Worker Suspended in a Safety Harness

The rescue of a worker who has fallen and is being suspended in his/her safety harness needs to be undertaken as quickly as possible for several reasons:

1. The worker may have suffered injuries during the fall and may need
Safety Harness Rescue
medical attention.

2. Workers suspended in their safety harness for long periods may suffer from blood pooling in the lower body and this can result in “suspension trauma.” (See attached information on treating suspension trauma – have this available on site to provide to First Aid team and to external emergency crews.)

3. The suspended worker may panic if they are not rescued quickly.

4. The event that led to the fall may create additional risks that need to be addressed.

General Rescue Procedures:

A. If Elevating Work Platform is available on site:
  1. Bring it to the site and use it to reach the suspended worker.
  2. Ensure that rescue workers are protected against falling.
  3. Ensure that the EWP has the load capacity for both the rescuer(s) and the victim.
  4. If the victim is not conscious, 2 rescuers will be probably be needed to safely handle the weight of the victim.
  5. Position the EWP platform below the worker and disconnect his lanyard when it is safe to do so.
  6. Treat the victim for Suspension Trauma and any other injuries.
  7.  Arrange for transport to nearest hospital.

B.  If no Elevating Work Platform is available:
  1. Where possible, use ladder(s) to reach the victim.
  2.  Rig separate lifelines for rescuers to use while carrying out the rescue from the ladder(s).
  3. If worker is not conscious or cannot reliably help with his/her own rescue, at least 2 rescuers may be needed.
  4. If worker is suspended from a lifeline, where possible, move the suspended victim to an area that can be safely reached by the ladder(s).
  5. If victim is suspended directly from his/her lanyard or from a lifeline, securely attach a separate lowering line to the victim’s harness.
  6. Other rescuers should lower the victim while he/she is being guided by the rescuer on the ladder.
  7. Once the victim has been brought to a safe location, administer First Aid and treat the person for Suspension Trauma and any other injuries.
  8. Arrange for transport to nearest hospital.
C.  If the injured person is suspended near the work area and can be safely reached from the floor below or the area they fell from:
  1. Ensure that rescuers are protected against falling.
  2.  If possible, securely attach a second line to the workers’ harnesses to assist in pulling them to a safe area. (Note: at least 2 strong workers will be needed to pull someone up.)
  3.  Ensure that any slack in the retrieving lines is taken up to avoid slippage.
  4. Once the victim has been brought to a safe location, administer First Aid and treat the person for Suspension Trauma and any other injuries and arrange for transport to the nearest hospital.
D.  If a person has fallen and is suspended in an inaccessible area (e.g. a tower, against a building or structure that has no openings):
  1. Specialized rescue techniques are needed for this type of situation. It may involve a rescuer rappelling or being lowered down to the victim, it may involve using the lifeline to retrieve the fallen worker, or the use of high-reach emergency equipment.
  2. Due to the inherent risk to the rescuers and/or the victim, this type of rescue should not be undertaken by people without specialized training and experience.



Guardrails protect you from falls that can seriously injure or even kill. The amount of protection guardrails provide depends on how they are constructed and maintained. Most guardrails are built of strong materials and are usually solid when first put up. As time goes by, however, guardrails often are abused, weakened, broken, or moved and not replaced.


Sometimes sections of guardrails must be taken down so that materials or equipment can be brought in. These sections often aren't replaced or if they are, they're hastily thrown back up. Weakened guardrails are sometimes more dangerous than no guardrails at all, because they give a false sense of security.


We can help avoid guardrail accidents if we follow a few simple rules:

1. As you go about your job, get into the habit of checking guardrails. If you discover a weakened or a missing rail or section , correct the situation if you can. Otherwise, report it so that the hazard can be eliminated.
2. If you bump a rail with material or equipment, check it at once if you suspect you may have weakened it. If you discover you've broken a rail, upright, or toe board, repair it if you can. Otherwise, report it so that it can be repaired.
3. When repairing or replacing guardrails, remember you're exposed to the very danger that you are providing protection against. Perhaps you should be using a safety belt and lanyard.


Different types of construction may require different types of guardrails. But the points we've covered today apply to all. If you have suggestions, make them known so that we can continue to keep our guardrails up and our accidents down.

Good Scaffold Practices From the Ground Up

Good Scaffold Practices

From the Ground Up

This series highlight good scaffold practices. It is a joint initiative between labor and management designed to increase awareness of safe working practices in the masonry industry.

Statistics indicate that the most common injuries are slips and falls, injuries occur because of improper scaffold practices. The information presented here deals with site preparation, mudsills, baseplates and leveling screws.

Site Inspection: Check location for
  • Ground conditions
  • Overhead wires
  • Obstructions
  • Change in surface elevation
Site Preparation

  • Soil must be level and firm
  • Mud and soft soil should be replaced with compacted gravel or crushed stone
  • Where mudsills must be placed on sloping ground, the area should be leveled, if possible, by excavating rather than by backfilling.
  • Clear ice and snow before placing mudsills

  • The National Construction regulations require that every scaffold have footings, sills or supports that are sound, rigid and capable of supporting twice the maximum load to which the scaffold may be subjected without settlement or deformation.


  • Use 2" x 10" planks for mudsills.
  • Lay Planks under at least two supports, either along the scaffold or across its width.
  • Center scaffold baseplates on the mudsill and extend mudsills two feet past the last scaffold frame.
  • Use leveling screws to compensate for uneven ground and to ensure that scaffold is level and plumb.

  • Baseplates

    • Distribute weight on mudsill and prolong plank life.
    • Attach scaffold to mudsill and prevent movement due to impact, vibration or uplift due to improper loading

    Leveling Screws

    • Eliminate need for blocking under mudsill.
    • Allow for easy leveling and plumbing of scaffold.
    • Leveling screws can be adjusted up or down so that the scaffold sits level. Be careful not to overextend screws.

    Refresher Quiz - Answer True or False

    1. Baseplates should be centered on and nailed to mudsills (T/F)

    2. Mudsills should never extend beyond end of scaffold. (T/F)

    3. For minor adjustments to plumb, use leveling screws. (T/F)

    Good Scaffold Practices: Get Connected

    Good Scaffold Practices

    Get Connected

    This detail are intended to promote good scaffold practices in the masonry industry. The series deals with arch-frame scaffolds and this issue looks at frames and braces.
    Before erecting scaffolds, make sure frames are not bent or missing any of their components. Broken or bent frames should be tagged and taken out of service.


    Align frames along the wall leaving sufficient clearance for side brackets. A space of 2 to 4 inches will allow excess mortar to fall freely without splattering the wall, yet not allow a worker's foot o become jammed. Vertical bracing is necessary on both sides of every frame. Use a hand level to endure frames are plumb. Minor adjustments should be made by adjusting leveling screws.

    Horizontal Bracing The use of horizontal bracing on the first tier helps to square the scaffold before nailing base plates to the mudsills. Horizontal brace s should be installed on the first level and on every second level thereafter.
    When placing horizontal bracing on the first level it is good practice to install the bracing near the top of the first frames. This will not impeded distribution of materials to masons or present a tripping hazard to laborers.

    It is good practice to install horizontal bracing at the same level as tie-ins to the structure. This topic will be dealt with in a later edition of this bulletin.


    Insert pins are good to connect frames vertically. It is good practice to have the insert pin permanently installed in the top of each gram. When the nest frame is places over the pin, a pigtail or other connecting device is used to connect this frame to the pin. Securing devices are very important. as they eliminate the possibility of uplift or separation

    Coupling devices are often omitted in the belief that the load on the scaffold will keep the sections together. In fact, uplift can occur due to swaying or uneven loading, causing the scaffold to pull apart if not connected positively

    Vertical Bracing

    Each level of the scaffold should be fully braced in the vertical direction (cross brace) before proceeding to the next level. If the scaffold has been laid out level and square, the braces should fit easily. Do not force braces to fit easily.
    Cross braces are equipped with either notches or holes t the ends. The braces with notched ends can only be used with J-Lock connectors.

    Braces with holes at the ends can be used with any of the standard locking devices.
    Ensure all connectors are maintained in good condition.

    All parts, fitting, and accessories must be installed in accordance with the manufactures' instructions.
    Failure to install all components can significantly reduce safety factors and stability.

    Braces should be on both sides of each scaffold piece except for the end frame.
    Do not use braces to climb up and down scaffold. Use a ladder.


    The National construction regulations requires a positive connection between frames in both tension and compression.
    Scaffold components from different manufacturers may not fit together properly. Do not force or alter components to fit. Check with manufacturer before using replacement parts.

    Never climb up or down the braces. This creates a dangerous fall hazard and may damage the braces. The National Construction Regulations requires that a ladder be used to access a scaffold at all times. Always ensure ladders are tied off.

    The National Construction Regulations require that each scaffold frame be braces in the vertical and horizontal direction to prevent lateral movement.

    Refresher Quiz (Right or Wrong) answers found below

    1) One brace per scaffold frame is sufficient.Right_____Wrong_____
    2) Scaffold frames must be pinned together to prevent uplift.Right_____Wrong_____
    3) Bent frames should only be used at the end of a scaffold run.Right_____Wrong_____

    Good Scaffold Practices: Well Decked Out

    Good Scaffold Practices

    Well Decked Out

    This is the third in a series of bulletins intended to promote good scaffold practices in the masonry industry. The series deals with arch-frame scaffolds and this issue looks at planks and platforms.

    Scaffold platforms can be either sawn or laminated lumber planks or prefabricated aluminum and plywood platforms. Due to the heavy loads involved in masonry work, 2 x 10 sawn lumber planks are the most common platforms used.

    Planks are often overlooked as an important element is scaffold construction. They are in fact one of the most important components of the scaffold. The Construction Regulation has specific requirements for scaffold planks.

    Planks must:
    • Be number 1 grade SPF or better
    • Be at least 48mm x 248mm (2" x 10" full size)
    • Be arranged so their span does not exceed 2.1 meters (7 feet)
    • Overhang their supports by no less then 150 mm (6") an no more than 300 mm (12")
    • Be laid tightly side by side across the full width of the working level
    • Be cleated or otherwise secured against slipping
    • Be capable of carrying any load likely to be applied and as a minimum be capable of carrying 2.4 KN per square meter (50 pounds per > square foot). 

      Dressed lumber should never be used as scaffold material.

    One of the biggest concerns in masonry scaffolding is overloading. The Construction Regulation stipulates that, where possible, cubes of masonry units are to be placed directly over the frame. The most effective way to accomplish this is to load material as the scaffold is being erected. Where the scaffold has already been erected and this is not possible, the planks should be laid double thickness and loads maintained below 1300 kg.

    This full box of mortar is causing too much deflection in the single layer planks and can weaken and break the planks.
    It is also creating a tripping hazard.

    Before a plank is used for scaffolding it should be checked by a competent worker for:
    • Large knots
    • Worm holes
    • Saw cuts
    • Splits
    • Steeply sloping grain pattern

    Plants must be cleated, as above, or be otherwise secured to prevent slipping.

    Side Platforms
    In the masonry trade the working platform is a combination of planks and scaffold brackets. Side brackets are fitted on the front of the scaffold, planked two wide, and can be adjusted to keep the mason working at a convenient height. When using scaffold brackets take the following precautions:      
    • Make sure that brackets are mounted securely on the frame.
    • Never stock materials on the working platform. The working platform is for workers only.
    • Make sure the planks extend 150 mm (6") beyond the brackets and are cleated to prevent slipping.
    • Place brackets so that the level where the worker stands is no more than 1 meter below the level where the material is stored.

      Clean ice, snow, oil and grease off planks. Platform decks should be slip-resistant and should not be allowed to accumulate water.
    Unsafe Practices
    Rotten or damaged planks should be destroyed
    Insufficient overhang and lack of cleats can lead to a fall hazard.


    Never cut bricks or blocks on a scaffold plank. A saw-cut reduces the depth of the plank by the depth of the cut and substantially weakens the plank. These defects can go unnoticed if the plank is laid with the "good side" up.
    Refresher Quiz (true or false)
    1) Planks should be laid "good side up" on a scaffold.True____False____
    2) Material should be loaded directly over scaffold frames.True____False____
    3) Dressed lumber should not be used as scaffold material.True____False____

    Saturday, 7 July 2018

    Slips, Trips and Falls

    Slips, Trips and Falls

    Slips, trips and falls (STF) are the most common causes of injuries in workplaces. STF injuries contributed to more than 20% of all workplace injuries and hurt more than 1,000 employees every year. Besides sprains and strains, STF can also cause more serious injuries like fractures and head injuries.

    What are Slips, Trips and Falls?

    Slips, trips and falls are defined as falling on the same level due to these situations:
    • Slip - stepping on a slippery surface or an object and losing balance;
    • Trip - foot striking against an object and losing balance; and
    • Fall - stepping on an uneven surface and losing balance.
    STF should not be taken lightly as they can also lead to other types of accidents, such as falls from heights if a person slipped and fell near an open side.

    Hazards and Prevention

    Many workplace injuries result from workers slipping on slippery floors, tripping over physical obstructions or falling from height. Your Risk Assessment team should be aware of all factors that may increase STF risks and implement effective STF prevention measures to mitigate the risks.

    Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards

    Examples of factors that may increase STF risks include:
    • Insufficient lighting;
    • Poor housekeeping;
    • Wet and slippery floor and surfaces;
    • Lack of handrails on platforms or staircases;
    • Unsafe use of ladders;
    • Inadequate personal protection equipment (e.g. not wearing non-slip shoes); and
    • Uneven walking surfaces
    Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

    Examples of simple, straightforward things you can do to prevent STF include:
    • Encourage workers to report poor lighting;
    • Keep floors and stairs dry and clean;
    • Ensure carpets and rugs are free of holes and loose edges;
    • Hang power cords over aisles or work areas to prevent tripping accidents;
    • Use anti-slip flooring or non-slip working shoes;
    • Place signs to warn of slippery surfaces;
    • Hold onto handrails when climbing stairs or slopes; and
    • Keep work area neat - do not leave materials and boxes lying haphazardly around.

    Roles of Employers and Employees

    Employer's Roles
    What are my roles in preventing STF in the workplace?
    Employers must ensure that all foreseeable STF hazards are identified and effective control measures implemented to prevent employees or workers working under his direct control from slipping and tripping. This includes:
    • Conducting risk assessments to remove or control STF risks at the workplace;
    • Maintaining safe work environment, such as selecting the right type of anti-slip flooring and providing adequate lighting; and
    • Providing persons at work with adequate instruction, training and supervision.

    How can I improve on STF prevention in my workplace?
    • Encourage employees to report STF near misses and accidents in order to prevent similar incidents;
    • Establish clear housekeeping standards and set the expectations for everyone to maintain the standards;
    • Conduct routine inspection of your workplace to ensure all foreseeable STF hazards have been addressed and existing STF control measures are effective and in good condition; and
    • Establish a WSH suggestion programme for your workplace and encourage employees to submit their ideas on STF prevention.

    Employee's Roles
    What are my roles in preventing STF in the workplace?

    Employees must adhere to safe work procedures and not endanger yourself or others through unsafe behavior, such as running across a wet and slippery surface. Employees should also use any personal protective equipment, such as non-slip shoes, as intended to ensure your own safety and health at work.

    How can I help improve STF prevention in my work area?
    • Hang power cords over aisles or work areas to prevent tripping accidents;
    • Clear up spillages promptly;
    • Keep floors and stairs dry and clean;
    • Do not leave materials and boxes lying haphazardly around;
    • Report poor lighting in work area or walkway to your supervisor;
    • Report any slip and trip hazards to your supervisor immediately; warn others in the area before the hazards are removed;
    • Report near misses and accidents promptly to your supervisor; and
    • Submit STF prevention suggestions to your supervisor, for e.g. a solution to preventing contamination (water, oils, powder, etc) from getting onto the floor.

    Accident/Incident Case Studies:

    Slippery Floor Caused Worker’s Death
    A worker slipped, fell and hit her head at the bread cooling area of a factory in the wee hours of the morning. She lapsed into unconsciousness and subsequently passed away at the hospital.

    Slipped and Fell During Maintenance of Concrete Mixer Drum
    After dismantling one of the blades, a technician attempted to climb out of the mixer drum. He lost his balance, slipped and fell back into the mixer drum.

    Worker Lost Balance and Fell from Lorry
    A worker who was standing on the lorry bed lost his balance and fell onto the adjacent lane. He was hit by an oncoming vehicle and died a day later.

    Friday, 6 July 2018

    Fall Protection: What OSHA Requires

    Fall Protection: What OSHA Requires

    Topic: Personal Protective Equipment

    Falls are a leading cause of workplace injury and death. Fall protection also routinely makes the Top 10 Violations list every year.
    Employees fall for many reasons: unstable working surfaces, improperly positioned ladders, misuse of fall protection, and unprotected sides and edges of working surfaces.

    OSHA says that you must set up your worksite to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated workstations, or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of 4 feet in general industry workplaces, 5 feet in shipyards, 6 feet in the construction industry, and 8 feet in longshoring operations.
    Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt), you must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.

    In order to properly protect employees at risk of falls, you must:

    1. Assess the worksite for fall hazards.
    2. Develop, implement, and commit to a fall protection program
    3. Provide training on the program and in the proper selection, use, and maintenance of fall protection.
    4. Select fall protection systems appropriate for given situations.
    5. Use proper construction and installation of safety systems.Supervise employees properly.
    6. Evaluate your fall protection program regularly to make sure it is effective and determine if changes or updates are needed.

    Fall Protection Systems

    When employees are exposed to falls from heights, one of the following is required:

    • Using guardrail systems
    • Using safety net systems
    • Using fall arrest systems
    • Covering or guarding floor holes as soon as they appear, and assuring that covers will support twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any time
    • Immediately covering or guarding any openings or holes through which an employee could fall.

    After the Fall: Do You Have a Rescue Plan

    After the Fall: Do You Have a Rescue Plan

    Topic: Injuries and Illness

    Many companies with excellent safety standards lack a solid plan for recovery once a worker has fallen. There should be more to it than calling emergency numbers.
    Falls continue to be not only one of the most common workplace accidents but also the most frequently violated standard year after year. However, preventing falls is only part of the plan to keep your workers safe. The other important part is rescuing the worker after the fall to prevent additional injuries.
    The importance of preparing for the fall while on the ground, rescue plan is a critical element of fall protection because workers are at risk of serious injury, even death, from falls when using fall arrest systems, even if there is no visible trauma. Prolonged suspension can cause orthostatic intolerance and suspension trauma—all that matters is that the legs are immobile and lower than the heart.

    Under 29 CFR 1926.502 (d) (Fall protection systems criteria and practices), OSHA requires that employers provide for "prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves." This should include identifying rescue procedures that address the potential for orthostatic intolerance and suspension trauma. Your rescue procedures also should address how the rescued worker will be handled to avoid any post-rescue injuries.

    While OSHA standards don’t specify a time rescues need to be carried out within, they have stated in a safety and health information bulletin "research indicates that suspension in a fall arrest device can result in unconsciousness, followed by death, in less than 30 minutes." The danger begins when someone is unable to move for as little as 5 minutes. The tolerance varies greatly from person to person, but the negative effects can set in quickly.

    Rescue plans do not have to be complicated. In some situations, a ladder can do the job and the worker can self-rescue. Simple plans do work, but they need to be noted and practiced before an accident happens for them to be completed swiftly when an emergency does occur. Without training and practice, it may take coworkers an hour or more from the fall event to even initiate the rescue procedures themselves.

    Rescue Plan

    Here are some items to include in your rescue plan whenever fall arrest systems are used and when self-rescue is not possible:
    • What is the emergency contact information of professional rescue services available, such as the local fire department, and what are the instructions for summoning immediate assistance?
    • When using a third-party rescue service, let it know in advance that your work project involves potential fall hazards—give details.
    • Is rescue equipment immediately available for this location? (Ladders, aerial devices, elevating work platforms, tripods, additional harnesses, controlled descent devices, winches, pulleys, etc.)
    • What obstructions are in the way of reaching the suspended worker?
    • How will rescue be assured within 15 minutes of the occurrence of a fall to minimize the risk of further injury or death due to suspension trauma?
    • How will the safety of the rescuers be assured as well as that of the suspended worker?
    • What communication systems will be used between the suspended worker and rescue team?

    Other Procedures

    Your fall prevention plan should include the following contingency-based actions: If self-rescue is impossible, or if rescue cannot be performed promptly, the worker should be trained to "pump" his or her legs frequently to activate the muscles and reduce the risk of venous pooling. Footholds can be used to alleviate pressure, delay symptoms, and provide support for "muscle pumping." Continuous monitoring of the suspended worker for signs and symptoms of suspension trauma.

    Ensuring the worker standard trauma resuscitation once rescued. If the worker is unconscious, keeping the worker's air passage open and obtaining first aid.

    Monitoring the worker after the rescue and ensuring that the worker is evaluated by a healthcare professional.

    While the ultimate goal of fall protection is to prevent a fall from occurring, the reality is that falls from height are a daily occurrence in workplaces. To be prepared for the eventuality of a fall means having a fall protection plan that includes provisions for prompt rescue.

    Many employers feel intimidated by rescue procedures and shy away from them, but just like any other safety plan or policy, rescue can be addressed reliably and efficiently when tackled head on.

    Rescue from heights is not only possible but necessary. You must prepare, train, and practice performing these types of rescues. Preplanning is the key ingredient to a safe and cost-efficient operation.

    Don't Let Your Employees Be 'Fall Guys'

    Don't Let Your Employees Be 'Fall Guys'

    Topic: Training

    Falls hurt—and worse, they can disable or kill. Fall injuries occur in every industry, but they can be prevented or reduced in severity by the worker who is alert.

    Falls cost not only your company, but they also cost your workers and their families. They can cost workers pain, time spent at the doctor, enjoyment that you might have had on your time off, lost income when they are out of work, loss of mobility, and inability to do the tasks they usually do for their families around the house.

    And, perhaps worst of all, people don’t always recover 100 percent from falls. Permanent pain spots and reinjury points can be created.

    Slippery surfaces, poor lighting, obstacles, having vision obscured when carrying packages, and other factors can all cause falls. Make sure your workers are aware when hazards exist, report those which they can't correct themselves, and take steps to reduce their own likelihood of falling down on the job.

    Here are some fall prevention tips you can share with employees at a safety meeting:
    • Keep alert. Walk through the workplace in an alert, balanced state, watching where you are going and ready to catch yourself quickly should you begin to slip or trip and fall.
    • Stay flexible. Those who are not limber usually have a higher center of gravity and are toppled more easily than the supple individual. Daily stretching helps.
    • Stay straight. The use of drugs, alcohol, even some prescribed or over-the-counter medications can alter your perception and throw off your sense of balance. Make it a point to find out any side effects of medicine you are taking.
    • Wear the right shoes. Be sure that your shoes give you proper support, are the right size, don’t have heels that will catch on the stair treads, and don’t have slippery soles.
    • Watch where you're going. Make sure you can see where you're going at all times so that you can see danger ahead. Never carry a load stacked so high that you can't see where you're going.

    Minimizing the Impact of Falls

    Not only should employees know how they can prevent falls, but they should also be prepared to reduce the impact of falls that do occur.
    Here are some "safe falling" techniques to consider:
    • The head is a heavy body part. Don't tilt your head back as you walk up stairs, throwing off your balance. Look up with your eyes only. If you work at a height and find yourself falling, don't look down with your head either, because that will propel you forward.
    • Gripping a nearby railing may help. Use your thumb, along with the little finger and the ring finger to grip. The little and ring fingers actually have more gripping strength than the index and middle fingers.
    • When falling, defend the vital areas. It’s better to have soft tissue damage than severe breaks. The head is vulnerable to serious injury and must be protected first of all. Protect it by tucking it to either collarbone. Next comes the spine and back, then the joints such as knees, wrists, shoulders, elbows, and ankles.
    • Disperse the force. Spread the impact of the fall over as wide an area as possible. Don't break a fall with only your hands, for instance; use the insides of your forearms along with your hands.
    • Relax. Athletes and stunt riders learn this important lesson early. Know how to reduce the force of impact: Yell and exhale when falling.