Are you prepared to comply with OSHA’s fall protection-regulations?
Falls are the leading cause of worker fatalities in the construction industry today in the United States, it is averaged that each year between 150-200 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured as a result of falling at construction sites (U.S. Department of Labor). Therefore it is very important that employees and companies follow standard for fall protection that deal with both human and equipment related issues.The following are guidelines stated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that employers and employees need to follow:
- Where protection is required, select fall protection systems appropriate for given situations.
- Use proper construction and installation of safety systems
- Supervise employees properly
- Use safe work procedures
- Train workers in the proper selection, use, and maintenance of all protection systems
Duty to have fall protection
It is required that employers assess the workplace to determine if the surfaces on which their employees are to work have structural integrity to safely support them. OSHAS fall protection regulations require that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry, and eight feet in long shoring operations along with providing fall protection when working over dangerous equipment regardless of fall distance (U.S. Department of Labor).
OSHA require that employers must follow these guidelines to ensure employees are not injured from falls:
- Guard every floor hole into which a worker can walk into by either using a railing and toe-board or floor hole cover.
- Provide guard rail and toe board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
- Regardless of height employees must provide guardrails and toe boards to prevent workers from falling onto dangers machines or equipment
- Other means of fall protection may include a safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and hand rails.
Employee and Employer safety is a top priority for us!
Re-Roofing exposes workers to several hazards, with proper fall protection employers and employees reduce the risk of serious falls. Other considerations for providing a safe work environment required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration include:
- Guard employees against falls through skylights or roof openings by using guardrail system, personal fall arrest system (PFAS) or a protective cover.
- Appropriate footwear is important to protect employees from falling due to a loose nail or shingle.
- Workers should also be cautious of air hoses or power cords that are used for nail guns and electrical equipment.
- Stage material so that workers have quick and easy access to it, so that it does not fall onto an employee on the ground by using slide guards and establishing a restricted area around the perimeter of the project.
To ensure all employees are knowledgeable and aware of these rules and regulations employers must provide them with a training program that teaches them how to be aware of fall hazards as well as how to minimize. In the OSHA fall protection regulations it states that employees must be trained in the following areas: a) the nature of fall hazards in the work area; (b) the correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting fall protection systems; (c) the use and operation of controlled access zones and guardrail, personal fall arrest, safety net, warning line, and safety monitoring systems; (d) the role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when the system is in use; (e) the limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs; (f) the correct procedures for equipment and materials handling and storage and the erection of overhead protection; and, (g) employees’ role in fall protection plans.
Make sure that you as an employer and employee are fully prepared to comply with OSHA’s fall protection regulations, click on this link to be directed to the U.S Department of Labor website where you can find the latest form of OSHA’s fall protection regulations.