Falls have long been the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% on an annual basis. Unsurprisingly, OSHA also issues the most citations for falls, and 2 different fall protection standards were on their top 10 most frequently cited violations list of 2018. To help build awareness and in an effort to reduce the number of deaths caused by falls, OSHA has released 6 videos and several other resources for employers.
In addition to the videos, posted below, OSHA has also announced that the 6th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held from May 6 to May 10th in 2019. That event encourages employers across the country to take some time out of their days to discuss the seriousness of fall protection.
A 24-page Fall Prevention Training Guide has also been released as part of their outreach program. It contains a roadmap for how and when to use fall prevention toolbox talks, as well as a variety of other useful information for training your employees.
Fact sheets for both ladders and scaffolding are available, as well. In the ladders category, extension ladders, job-made wooden ladders, and stepladders all have their own individual fact sheets. In the scaffolding category, narrow frame scaffolds, ladder jack scaffolds, and tube and coupler scaffolds all have their own individual fact sheets.
Now on to the videos. I’m a huge fan of videos, because I think providing visuals is hugely important for knowledge retention and many of us in the construction industry are visual learners.
Leading Edge Work
5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls
Almost 18 months ago, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed, killing 6 people and injuring another 8. While many investigations have closed, including OSHA’s scathing report, families of victims and survivors have been awaiting the results of civil lawsuits filed against the companies in charge of the projects.
The spring of 2019 saw 3 trench collapse deaths in a span of 10 days. One at a home construction site in Colorado, another during a culvert install in Marysville, Ohio, and a third at a residential site in Sugarcreek Township, Ohio. The latter has recently received a hefty fine and penalty from OSHA.
Personal fall protection devices are extremely important to saving lives and preventing injuries due to falls on a jobsite. Half the battle is getting your team to wear harnesses, but when they do, you need to trust that the devices will work when they’re needed. 3M has recently issued an immediate stop use and product recall on two of their fall protection products.
While placing concrete on the 7th floor of a new hotel in Houston, TX, 16 construction workers were suddenly sent falling to the 6th floor below, sending 9 of them to the hospital, according to local news reports.
A recent crane collapse in Dallas, TX, that left a woman, who was in her apartment, dead, several others injured, and hundreds displaced, has triggered a local news station to dig further into what the city and state are doing to protect from these accidents in the future.
Last year, over 130 organizations petitioned OSHA to issue a heat protection standard, citing needs for mandatory rest breaks, PPE, hydration, and monitoring. On July 10, 2019, Representative Judy Chu of California introduced H.R. 3668 to meet the organizations’ request.
Many areas throughout the country saw their hottest temperatures of the year over the weekend. In response to the forecasts, OSHA issued a reminder to employers about the dangers of heat illness.
Falls are, by far, the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% each year. That fact is the main reason why personal fall protection devices are so heavily stressed in the industry. But, even if your fall is arrested by a harness, you’re not out of the woods yet, as serious complications can happen while you’re being suspended in the air.
We all know – or, at least, should know – about construction’s Fatal Four Hazards: Falls, Struck-by, Caught-in or Between, and Electrical. Those hazards get most of the attention in most safety training courses in construction and rightfully so, they contribute to a large majority of all deaths on the jobsite. A recent study, however, highlights the need to take certain health hazards more seriously, due to their long term effects.
Summer is officially upon us and beating the heat will keep you healthy and productive. There are many summer dangers on construction sites, but OSHA maintains that water, rest, and shade are the most important factors to avoiding heat illness. Here are a few products to help keep you and hydrated on your jobsites this summer.