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Toolbox Tuesday: Don't make dangerous leaps

Welcome to Toolbox Tuesday, VISTA's new weekly safety tip. Our first topic is preventing a common type of fall on work sites. Why do so many workers make potentially dangerous leaps off trucks and equipment, across open trenches, over guardrails and other places on the job site? According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death on U.S. job sites, and the third leading cause of nonfatal work injuries that resulted in days away from work. There is an abundance of data that documents the high costs of slips, trips and falls: The Liberty Mutual Institute for Safety estimated that American businesses lost over $15 billion to workplace slips, trips, and falls in 2012 alone. That estimate reflects the most recently available data from worker’s compensation claims, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. As the economy begins to improve, the American workplace is seeing a long-term trend toward a higher incidence of disabling slips, trips, and falls. Why do we take so many chances? Here are some ways to avoid taking dangerous leaps on the job site:

  1. Get out of equipment and trucks by backing out of the cab, facing the machine. Use three-point contact on the ladder and watch where you place your feet.

  2. Don’ t carry any objects in one hand while dismounting equipment. You need both your hands to safely descend the ladder.

  3. Avoid jumping across open trenches, over guardrails and down stairways. Walk around it. Walk down steps all the way to the bottom. You may be able to make these kinds of jumps 99 times out of 100. But that one out of a hundred can cause you serious injury. Don’t take chances or cut corners. Leave risk taking to cliff divers, tight rope walkers and other daredevils! Interested in related products? See: Hand Signals for Construction Source: 180 Safety Talks for Supervisors from the Colorado Contractors Association

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