The construction industry has some of the most perilous work conditions one can imagine, but thanks to modern safety lifting gear, the number of work-related illnesses are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972, down to just 3.4 per 100 in 2011. This is thanks in no small part to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has a three-step process to prevent dangerous falls and save lives: plan, provide, and train. The risk of falls is something that OSHA does not take lightly, as workers who are above levels as low as six feet must have fall protection and equipment of the company could face severe lawsuit penalties for endangering employees. Here’s how businesses should plan, provide, and train according to OSHA standards.
Companies must anticipate what kind of jobs will require safety equipment. At any rate, regularly inspecting lifting gear can save lives. Test equipment before every job using loads that exceed the weight of employees to ensure that the lifting equipment will hold. Many employers are providing additional training measures to ensure that employees are proficient and able to use the equipment properly — failure to do so could cause injury or even death.
It falls upon the responsibility of businesses to ensure that their employees are provided with up-to-date and functional personal lifting products for fall arrest systems. Safety nets are one kind of general fall arrest system that can be used to lessen fall exposure at a distance that ought not to exceed 25 feet. For higher jobs, a personal lifeline or other kind of personal fall protection equipment needs to be used. The anchor for the lifeline must be able to support 5,000 pounds to qualify as a single tie-off point — by following these guidelines OSHA helps to eliminate injuries, as most of the injuries that occur today are due to poorly inspected equipment, poorly trained employees, or poorly followed instructions.
Employee safety training again is the responsibility of employers. There are a number of services around the country that provide OSHA-standard fall protection competent person training via safety courses. Not only does this provide employees with the proper knowledge to utilize safety equipment, it also helps to build the confidence needed in the construction industry to scale big projects. Following this three-step program can make any work environment that much safer.