Putting Work-Related Falls Behind Us: The Application of Key Fall Prevention Practices and Guidelines

We’ve all seen videos and cartoons that feature silly slips and falls: Lucy pulling the football away as Charlie Brown aimed a kick; someone slipping on a banana peel; people slipping and sliding on icy surfaces; someone falling off a ladder, arms flailing wildly as they try to catch themselves. The truth is, falls are no laughing matter.

Workplace-related falls are the third leading cause of workplace death in the United States. Equally as alarming is the fact that they made up 22 percent of total unintentional deaths in 2018. There are similar trends north of the border, with over 40,000 Canadians experiencing similar injuries.

Keeping Things in Check: OSHA-Mandated Regulations

From a regulatory perspective, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published regulations to address these issues. Organizations are required to provide fall protection “at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six … Read more...

Making Worker and Pedestrian Safety a High Priority: Guidelines to Use When Developing a Robust Walking-Working Surfaces Program

As the saying goes: “Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”

Falls on level – slips, trips and falls – can be some of the most debilitating and expensive injuries workers can suffer and contribute to a surprising number of worker deaths each year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “on average, slips, trips and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year.” As such, it’s become increasingly clear that this requires attention as well as improved practices and programs.

OSHA’s Standards and Recommended Practices

Designed to protect workers from injuries caused by problematic walking-working surfaces, OSHA updated its existing standards in 2017 and now include training and stricter risk mitigation practices and procedures (e.g. more inspections). Organizations ultimately are responsible for ensuring that they develop walking-working surfaces programs.

Effective Walking-Working Surface Programs: Insights and Tactical Recommendations by Industry Experts

With over 25 years of experience under his belt, Scott Gaddis, … Read more...

The National Safety Stand-down: Preventing Falls in Construction

Last week over one million workers and 25,000 businesses took part in OSHA’s National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This was a voluntary event that encouraged employers across the country to speak with their employees about fall hazards and fall prevention measures.

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, with fall prevention one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. This event was designed to help educate both workplaces and employees on ways that injuries and fatalities from falls can be prevented.

OSHA also provided eight helpful suggestions for how an organization could hold their own fall prevention stand-down:

1. Start early so the stand-down is organized, coordinated and everyone involved understands their role and duties.

2. Ask everyone involved with your project to participate (ex. subcontractors, owner, architects, etc.).

3. Review your fall prevention program for a more effective stand-down.

4. Establish …