Construction projects typically involve working at heights above ground level. While this is necessary so that the project can be done properly, it is a big risk for workers. Objects that workers use to get the job done are a primary hazard at construction sites. These items, which can include building materials, supplies and tools, should be properly secured and handled when they are used above ground level.
The risk of objects falling on top of the workers is one of the primary reasons why construction zones have hard hat requirements. These safety devices do provide valuable protection for the worker’s head, but they aren’t foolproof and they don’t do anything to protect the rest of the body. This is why a multifaceted approach to this problem must be taken.
Securing items is a priority
Anything that is used above ground level should be secured. This can be done using tethers that attach to a tool belt or to an object that is fixed and sturdy. Even small items can lead to serious injuries if they fall from a high enough location onto someone below.
An example of how serious a falling item in a construction zone can be involves a man who was standing below workers on the 50th story of a building. A tape measure fell and struck that man in the head just as he was standing up after speaking to someone in a vehicle. The man who was hit by the falling tape measure died. His death could have been prevented if the tape measure was properly secured so that it couldn’t fall 50 stories.
Type of securement varies
The type of securement used on items depends on the weight and other factors of the item. Anything that is over five pounds needs to be secured to a fixed structure using a tether. Some people might say that their tools can’t be secured because doing so would alter the effectiveness of the tool. All tools have a way that they can be anchored without changing how you are able to use them. One thing to consider is that you might need to contact the manufacturer to find out what method is best to use.
When falling objects do occur, workers and others at the work site will likely need medical care. Workers’ compensation can help injured workers to get medical care and possibly wage replacement if they have to miss work.