Even though construction work is dangerous, it is a vital part of society. One of the biggest risks for these workers is falls. No matter what type of project is being done, it is imperative that all workers pay attention to basic safety guidelines that can help to prevent these falls.
Construction companies must have a proper safety protocols in place and provide workers with the safety equipment to help prevent accidents. The burden of safety doesn’t fall on the workers but it does fall on the company. Here are some important points that anyone in the construction industry must remember when it comes to working from heights and falls:
Evaluate the structural integrity
Working on existing structures, such as re-roofing projects, requires that the structural integrity of the surface is evaluated. If there are any safety concerns like dry rot or similar conditions, those must be corrected before workers climb onto the surface. In the case of roofing jobs, any areas of weakness should be clearly marked. This includes things like skylights and similar spaces.
Training is one of the top ways that employers can reduce the risk of construction workers falling. When you consider residential construction projects, more than one-third of worker deaths related to falling were due to a fall from a roof. Even if the company is using scaffolding and lifts, workers must be taught how to work safely from heights.
Attention to detail
One of the risks at a construction site is falling items. This is present during demolition and construction. Workers who are on the ground must ensure that they aren’t walking in drop zones where demolition workers will be tossing down discarded items. These areas should be clearly marked with warnings for the duration of the time in which the hazard exists. When workers have tools above ground level, each tool should be tethered to prevent it from falling to the ground.
People who are working from heights should have harnesses attached to systems that will prevent them from hitting the ground. Personal fall arrest systems can be used, but only if there is a full body harness. It is against OSHA regulations for workers to use just a belt with these systems. Rope grabs, horizontal lifelines, fall restraints and temporary guardrails are also options for many construction projects. It is imperative that any anchors needed are attached securely and in an appropriate location.