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Is fall protection falling through the cracks?

Updated: Mar 12

OSHA’s version of a three-peat isn't as sweet as a championship ring; for the third consecutive year, fall protection took the gold medal last month in OSHA's 2013 list of the top 10 safety violations To illustrate the severity of the issue, there were over 2,000 more reports of fall protection violations than the runner-up, hazard communication. How can we buck this trend? Instead of continuing to fall into bad practices, it's time to take the proper precautions to transform our work sites into safer environments.

Provide proper labor equipment and PPE - for free According to OSHA, companies are obligated to cover floor holes, erect guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falls - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  A huge component of worker safety is providing additional job-specific fall protection devices such as safety harnesses and nets, at no cost to employees. Even when proper resources are utilized on a project, it’s imperative that the equipment be tested and inspected on a regular basis. If it doesn't fit correctly, it’s no good.

It's all about communication Although OSHA mandates employers to ensure danger-free working conditions, workers don’t always tend to relay their personal safety concerns on the job site. Often, a quality safety culture is lacking, and they are fearful of backlash from their boss or peers if they report hazards. Or past attempts by workers to report unsafe working conditions have been ignored by their bosses. Company leaders should not place employees in a situation where they feel pressured to succumb to the inadequate safety status quo. Providing proper project-specific training and empowering the whole workforce to promote safety throughout the organization are sure-fire ways to avoid fall protection and other safety violations. Utilize free resources on the internet to test your expertise as well, such as this fall protection quiz. Knowledge is power, and safety awareness saves lives. This is a guest post from MySafetySign, an online retailer of safety compliance signs and labels. The company is proud to partner with VISTA Training Inc in spreading safety awareness through the #HazardSpotting campaign.

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