Protecting your employees against falls is one of the most important things you can do to ensure their safety. Year after year falls from elevation are the leading cause of death in construction, with fall protection continually being ranked first on the list of OSHA’s most frequently cited violations. You can help put a stop to these accidents by educating your employees on fall hazards and proper safety measures - not only during the National Safety Stand-Down, but throughout the entire year.
Falls can be prevented when workers understand how to properly identify fall hazards, how to minimize them, and how to set up and use their fall protection equipment. OSHA mandates that employers provide a fall protection training program to all workers who may be exposed to fall hazards, not just new hires. Training should provide in-depth educational sessions on regulations, potential hazards, equipment selection, and instruction on how to use the equipment correctly. In order to be most effective, classroom instruction should be combined with hands-on training that mimics actual work conditions so your employees can apply what they’ve learned.
With proper training and precautions, it is possible to drastically reduce fatalities and injuries caused by falls. With so many individuals and organizations committed to that vital end goal, a wide variety of materials are available to help ensure your workplace is up-to-date and your employees trained on the latest fall protection safety information.
- OSHA Training Resources – OSHA has an entire page dedicated to different training resources, including a fall prevention training guide for employers, educational prevention videos, and other training products and tools.
- Fall Protection in Construction – This informational booklet, put together by OSHA, is full of material meant to help workers and employers better understand the Fall Protection in Construction standard’s requirements and the reasons behind them.
- Fall Prevention Training Guide: A Lesson Plan for Employers - This is a multi-lingual guide using series of ‘Toolbox Talks’ to help you train your workers in fall prevention through guided discussions on a variety of fall prevention topics.
- Fall Protection: Safety Walkaround Checklist – The Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health has created a comprehensive checklist to be used when looking for fall hazards and making sure proper preventative measures, such as fall protection, are in place. They also have a Fall Protection Training Guide which includes questions to ask, subjects to cover, and a sign-off form for employees to fill out once they’ve completed training.
- Safety Pays, Falls Cost – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has videos to give insight into fall safety in the construction industry from several different perspectives. They aim to show how each person plays a role when it comes to ensuring the safety of the crews.
- Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely – Falls from ladders make up nearly 1/3 of all construction deaths caused by falls. This booklet from OSHA provides the safe work practices that can prevent those fatalities.
- Educational Materials and Resources for Workers and Employers: - This page on the OSHA website provides a number of different resources including fact sheets and other educational materials, as well as links to the websites of OSHA’s partners in the Fall Prevention Campaign.
Fall protection should be a critical element of your workplace safety efforts. Be sure your employees have only the best in fall protection training – it could end up saving their lives.