According to OSHA, falls occur more than any other injury in the timber harvesting and construction industries. It may be a simple injury that's easy to avoid, it's also incredibly easy to overlook. Here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent falls on the job site:
KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT
What does your workplace look like today? Where are you working? How's the weather going to affect your work? How many people are you working with? Are you lifting things? Cutting? Carrying? While these question may seem obvious, OSHA fall protection standard calls for focusing on these easy-to-remember questions in order to prevent a fall. All of these questions cover the environment you're working in, and knowing its ins and outs could save you.
USE THE PROPER PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
It's not always the most fun to put on layer after layer of fall protection equipment on the job, especially when it's one you do so well and probably by instinct. But prepping for that one moment when you slip up could save your life. Your security on the job requires personal fall systems, completely body and shock absorbing harnesses, and a slew of other fall restraints. This equipment ranges by height and the forestry equipment or construction equipment you're working with, so it should be noted that you may need to use different fall protection gear depending on the day and job.
WEAR THE RIGHT PPE, TOO
Steel toed boots with extra grip on their outsole. Helmets for coverage against your own falls and things that could fall on you. Even bright colors to make others aware of where you are at all times, so they don't knock you down. These are crucial, and most importantly, easy ways to prevent a fall.
INSPECT EVERYTHING (REGULARLY)
Detection is also important in making sure another accident doesn't happen on the job. Specifically, checking for defects in hooks, buckles and lines. Any webbing and ropes, too, deserve a daily inspection. The entire site should be a part of this process to help point out any potential fall areas and assure that you're up to OSHA fall protection standards.
ORGANIZE SAFETY TRAININGS
Safety equipment is good, but knowledge is better. That's why we highly recommend setting up fall protection trainings and on site policies to show workers first-hand where they could fall and what might happen if they do. Then, most importantly, teach them how to avoid it.
It’s a good idea to check in with everyone on site to make sure they are all on the same page. Take the time to remind workers of what can happen should they fall, and again, how to make sure they avoid it altogether. Everyone on site should be aware of all equipment safety requirements and what procedures and precautions should be taken. Make this a daily routine, and you'll reduce the number of hazardous falls around you.
Remember these safety tips as you head out to your next job and as always, feel free to stop in to any of our locations to speak with our team about safety and best practices for operating your machinery.