Fall Protection for the Construction Industry

Falls, slips, and trips continue to be the top cause of mortality among construction workers, accounting for 37.9% of all deaths in 2019. (BLS data). As a result, it's critical for construction businesses to take proactive measures to safeguard their personnel from falling on the job. This necessitates risk management techniques, fall protection training and equipment, and preventative planning.

However, OSHA mandates fall protection while working at heights of six feet or greater in the construction business, as well as when working above dangerous equipment and gear at any distance in any industry.

How can construction workers be protected against falls?

Preventing falls among construction workers necessitates proactive measures ahead of time as well as active protection throughout the project.

During the design and planning stages, the design and construction teams collaborate to anticipate potential construction challenges. At the same time, it's vital to examine any safety concerns based on prior lessons learned and industry best practices throughout the project's lifecycle in order to minimize or eliminate any possible fall hazards.

It is possible to analyze, appraise, and adopt ideas at this stage, well before construction begins, resulting in a safer outcome for both construction workers and end users.

Fall risks on working sites will continue to be reduced as the project progresses by proactively planning ahead of time before commencing each key task. The following are some of the most typical reasons for workplace accidents:

·         Walking/working surfaces that are slick, crowded, or unstable

·         Unprotected edges, gaps in the floor, and apertures in the walls

·         Permanent or personal fall protection has been misused.

Slips, trips, and falls can be avoided with proper housekeeping and material storage. Falling items and twisted ankles are avoided with proper edge and hole protection. Falls on construction sites can be avoided by maintaining guardrails and obstacles, as well as receiving adequate personal fall protection training, inspection, and usage. Analyzing and controlling each form of fall hazard on a regular basis will result in projects that are safe, efficient, and productive.

Equipment for preventing falls

Aside from the preventative measures and safety regulations in place at construction sites, it's also vital to deploy appropriate fall protection equipment, which provides an extra layer of protection for both personnel and companies. These devices are typically employed as part of a fall arrest system, which is made up of many devices that work together to keep a person from falling. Some examples of fall equipment are as follows:

·         Belt: wrap around the worker's waist and connect to a solid anchor point or lifeline right away to keep them safe from falling.

·         Lifelines: a rope or wire used to link a safety belt or harness to the anchor

·         Lanyards: short lengths of webbing or wire connected to the D-ring of a safety harness

·         Full-body harnesses: distributes the force of a fall protection system across the legs, pelvis, waist, chest, and shoulders, helping the body to stay upright and absorb the impact more efficiently.

Training for fall protection

Before starting any task, make sure each person is thoroughly taught in fall safety and prevention best practices. Prior to working in construction in any capacity, you must complete training with a qualified teacher who holds a relevant degree or certification.

While initial training is necessary, it is also critical to continue training throughout a construction career to ensure that staff are up to speed on the latest best practices and fall safety equipment.

How do other companies keep their employees safe from falling?

It's largely due to their unwavering commitment to guaranteeing the safety of all workers on their working sites. Eliminating the danger, followed by replacement and designing the hazard out, is the greatest strategy to avoid falls.

 They go for a Personal Fall Arrest System – such as a lanyard or body harness – far too often in construction before considering the issue and searching for a solution to eliminate and/or engineer a danger out because it takes a little longer or costs a little more. In most circumstances, the time, money, and lives saved by the upfront care are advantageous to all parties.

One of the most dangerous risks on our job sites is falls from tremendous heights, but they may be prevented. Take some time to look around your workplace and implement practical fall-prevention measures that might save your life.

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