Fall Protection Rules: Basic Things You Need to Know
Falls are the leading causes of injury or death among workers in the construction industry. But what does this mean?
Property owners should invest in successful fall protection measures. Such as including following the OSHA guidelines on railing supplies and installation.
Here’s what you need to know about fall protection.
1. Accidental Falls Happen
Accidental falls are frequent at homes or construction sites. The reasons for this include tripping, losing balance, dangerous weather, or irregular surfaces.
Acknowledging that falls happen sets the dice rolling for protection measures. It informs the need for cable rail fittings at home.
2. Plan for Fall Protection
Now you know that accidental falls are prevalent, what next?
Lay measures for fall protection ahead of time. Otherwise, you cannot source, buy, and install the railing supplies.
The exercise should follow a set hierarchy of control. Each protection measure has its place and time.
The risks of falls are high in a skyscraper or any tall building. When building such a house, use engineering techniques to reduce the chances of a fall. For example, lower the staircase’s gradient.
Then source for the best fall prevention equipment like railing supplies or chain slings. Hire an expert to do the installation.
3. Get Lifesaving Equipment
Setting a fall protection system isn’t easy. It requires crucial equipment for: anchorage, connectors, body support, rescue, and descent.
Before using these railing supplies, inspect them for wear and tear. If any, consider repairs or buy a new set of cable and rigging supplies.
4. Be Compliant
The risks of falls are higher in the construction industry. For this, OSHA issues guidelines on how to protect your workers from accidental falls.
You can do this by using:
Install guardrails along the edges to prevent falls. They’re practical and safe to install.
According to OSHA guidelines, its height should be 42 inches above the walking surface.
A guardrail system is ideal for use on ramps and runaways.
What happens if a guardrail doesn’t prevent a worker from falling? A safety net is there for them.
Don’t get confused; a safety net doesn’t prevent workers from falling. However, it catches them before falling too far.
Guardrails and safety nets offer collective protection. It protects everyone working at a height in your project.
OSHA guidelines on safety nets include:
- The installation distance shouldn’t exceed 30 feet beneath the working surface
- The potential fall area shouldn’t be obstructed
5. Train Your Workers
Installing the best railing supplies without training your workers doesn’t work. You can instruct your workers about fall protection in different ways.
For example, share clear instructions on these railing supplies. Alternatively, hire a competent trainer to handle the exercise. If you hire a trainer, ensure you’re getting value for money.
Don’t forget, the use of fall protection systems like chain slings is a skill. The training method should include the physical observation of performance. Yes, it might seem tiresome, but it’ll be advantageous in case of litigation.
6. Liability and Enforcement
Yes, cable railings protect your workers from a fall. Remember, project owners and contractors, are liable for workers’ injuries. Enforcing worker safety in your projects shifts the liability of a fall away from you.
But first, how do you address the liability of a fall?
Well, use the hazard assessment, not minimum compliance for this task. Using the severity of a fall, protection feasibility, and risk management steps minimize liability.
With this, you can defend your position rather than say minimum compliance conditions were met.
Monitor the Fall Protection System
Monitoring your systems helps deal with fall protection and liability. Yes, you have a cable railing system in place, but are your workers utilizing it? Is it working to meet your expectations? If not, instruct them on how to use the fall protection system.