Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announces the second national safety Stand-Down May 4-15, 2015, to stop falls in construction. Learn more at http://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown.
It isn’t good enough just to be wearing a fall protection harness while working at heights. If the harness isn’t put on properly you could be looking at some serious injuries if you should take a fall.
Our friends at Guardian Fall Protection have put together a web page with step by step instructions with photos on how to properly don a harness.
In Fort Lauderdale, FL this past Monday, when a scaffold collapsed, 3 workers were left dangling and a 4th fell, buried under a pile of scaffolding.
Check out the video from the SunSentinel news website:
Incidentally, although the news report doesn’t mention it you can see the hanging worker standing in the trauma suspension strap to keep the blood flowing. That, in addition to the fire and rescue, also saved his life.
We’ve talked before on this blog about the “fall clearance” issue. Essentially fall clearance has to do with the distance you need to account for when taking a fall in order not to hit the ground. What this means is that if you are 6 foot tall, wearing a 6 foot lanyard, accounting for stretch and other factors, you will need to have 18 feet off fall clearance as illustrated below.
Because factors vary (You might be using a self-retracting lifeline or an 8 foot lanyard, for example) each application should be looked at separately and the fall clearance calculated for each instance. Fortunately, Miller Fall Protection has a fall clearance calculator that you can use to determine your fall clearance. Just type in your variables and it’ll give you your fall clearance, illustrated as in the above image.
Great little tool to keep everyone safe!
June 2013 National Safety Month Tips
Week 1: June 3-8
Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
“Safety starts with me” is this year’s theme for National Safety Month. It is important that we all realize safety does start with each and every one of us not matter if it is at home, work or play. This week’s topic is Slips, trips and falls. Most slips, trips and falls are preventable. Many people attribute falls to not having good situational awareness of their surroundings or being clumsy or not paying attention, but many other risk factors do exist. Risk factors include physical hazards in the environment, age-related issues, pets and health conditions. Reduce your risk and find fall hazards in your workplace and home to prevent injuries and keep others safe round the clock.
• Keep floors and stairs clean and clear of clutter; also beware of pets running under your feet.
• Maintain good lighting both indoors and on outdoor walkways
• Secure electrical, computer cables and phone cords out of traffic areas or add cord cover to existing cords.
• Use non-skid throw rugs in potentially slippery places, like bathrooms
• Install handrails on stairways or patio rails, including porches
• Use a sturdy step stool or ladder when climbing or reaching for high places
• Clean up all spills immediately
• Wear sensible footwear or footwear with a tread for traction grip features.
• Never stand on a the top of a ladder, chair, table or surface on wheels
• Arrange furniture to provide open pathways to walk through
• Periodically, check the condition of outdoor walkways and steps and repair as necessary
• Remove fallen leaves or snow from outdoor walkways to see possible trip hazards
• Be aware that alcohol or other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicine, can affect your balance and increase risk of falling
Older adult falls
Older adults are more prone to become the victim of falls and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following tips can greatly help older adults prevent falls, but are beneficial to those of all ages.
• Stay active: Chances of falling can be reduced by improving strength and balance. Examples of activities include brisk walking, tai chi and yoga.
• Fall-proof your home: This includes taking advantage of the tips above and removing all tripping hazards.
• Review your medications: Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medications you take both prescription and over-the-counter. Some medications or combination of medicines can make you drowsy or light-headed, which can potentially lead to a fall.
• Check your vision: It’s best to have your vision checked at least once a year to make sure you have the best prescription for your glasses. Poor vision greatly increases your risk of falling.
- Choose the right ladder for the job and make sure you have received training on how to use it properly
- Check the area you will be working in for hazards, such as cords or objects in the walkway
- Don’t stand any higher than the third rung from the top of a ladder
- Do not use ladders outdoors in windy or inclement weather, and if the weather turns while you are on it, descend immediately
- Always keep at least three points of contact with the ladder (i.e., two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand
June 2013 Daily Tips
June 3: Avoid falls by keeping all walkways clean and clear of clutter and maintaining good lighting.
June 4: Help avoid falls by staying active to improve your strength and balance, especially for older adults.
June 5: To avoid slips, trips and falls, check the area you will be working in for hazards, such as cords or liquids on the floor.
June 6: Properly arranging your furniture at work and home can help prevent falls.
June 7: In the event of a power outage, have an emergency kit prepared containing multiple flashlights and batteries to avoid tripping over objects in the dark.
Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Quiz
1. Falls account for ________ emergency room visits each year.
A. 8.7 million
C. 1 billion
2. Which of the following risk factors contribute to falls?
A. Age-related issues
B. Physical hazards in the environment
C. Health conditions
D. All of the above
3. Staying active is only beneficial to older adults in preventing falls.
4. What are some common fall hazards?
A. Clutter on the stairs
B. Phone and electrical cords
C. Both A and B
D. None of the above
5. Which of the following tips can help prevent a fall?
A. Leaving water on the floor
B. Having snow on the walkway
C. Having cords out where you can see them
D. Maintaining good lighting both indoors and outdoors
Slips, trips, and falls cause numerous injuries every day. But they are among the easiest hazards to correct. Take the time to look around your worksite, office or homes for these hazards and work to prevent them. Take care not to cause any slip, trip, or fall hazards as you go about your daily activities. Don’t let a slip, trip, or fall keep you from enjoying all that life has to offer.
Please raise our Slip, Trip and Fall Awareness and remember Safety First, Safety Always!
Information from National Safety Council, CDC, National Floor Safety Institute and ASSE
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau
New! Miller Fall Clearance Calculator
When working at height, it is important to know your fall clearance and swing fall whether using a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline. Calculating your fall clearance and swing fall is critical to your safety and is now easily accessible any time, any place whether working from a desktop, smart phone or tablet.While especially designed for use with Miller® fall protection products, the interactive Fall Clearance Calculator can be used with any brand of fall protection equipment that meets ANSI standards.
It’s FREE, Go get it!
Did some training this morning with the Miller Fall Protection rep. Part of what he handed out was a small pamphlet entitled “Smart Policy MillerGuide” which, as it turns out is a great little piece of litterature.
This 45 page publication is a fairly comprehensive guide to all things fall related including:
- General Safety at Height Considerations
- Developing a Safety at Height Program
- Fall Prevention and Protection Training
- A Personal Fall Arrest System
- Inspection and Maintenance of a Personal Fall Arrest System
- Glossary of Terms
- Safety at Height Solutions
One of the things that makes this resource so valuable are the images, especially the ones that show what to look for when inspecting your fall protection gear. Rather than simply tell you what to look for they show you what faulty equipment looks like.
It also includes step-by-step photo guides for most fall protection procedures.
You can download a digital copy at: https://www.millerfallprotection.com/pdfs/Smart%20Policy%20MillerGuide.pdf
For a hard copy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and I’ll throw one in the mail for you.