In honor of the National Safety Stand Down, which is happening this week, we at TSCTA wanted to spread awareness and help employers and professionals in construction discuss safety with their employees.
This part will focus on fall hazards and how to spot and avoid them.
Injuries from falls are the most common cause of construction site fatalities. Some of the main causes of construction site falls are unprotected edges and openings, lack of fall protection, improper scaffolding construction or use, and improper ladder use.
According to OSHA, the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average, and the construction industry leads to all injuries in workplace fatalities.
OSHA requires fall protection for working at a height of six feet or more, or anytime someone is working over dangerous equipment and machinery.
Need a refresher? Sign up for our 8HR Fall Prevention course today!
For workers on scaffolds, fall protection must be provided if working 10 feet or more above the lower level.
Fall Protection From Best to Least
Guardrails are the only approved fall protection method that actually prevents falls. They are ideal for unprotected edges, scaffolding work, and openings like uncovered skylights and elevator shafts. According to OSHA guidelines, guardrails must be between 39 and 45 inches in height from the surface. The top rail must withstand at least 200 pounds of force, and the middle rail must withstand 150 pounds of force.
Learn more about scaffolding/aerial lift safety protocols and freshen your SST training with our Scaffolding Training here.
The other two acceptable means of fall protection are safety nets and personal fall arrest systems. Safety nets should be placed as close as possible to the work area, and cannot exceed being placed more than 30 feet below the work area.
We plan to share and bring awareness to National Safety Stand Down this week. Please stay tuned for more tips and updates!