As astounding as it sounds, falls are the #1 cause of death in the workplace, and 14% of injuries on the job are fall-related.
Check out OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down video below to to prevent falls.
DID YOU KNOW? • OSHA STANDARDS
- OSHA requires organizations to provide training to all employees exposed to falls.
- Portable Ladders: fall protection is not required for employees climbing or working on portable ladders.
- For general industry workplaces, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet above a lower level.
- Open-sided floors and platforms four feet or greater above adjacent floor or ground level must be equipped with a railing.
- Employers must ensure working conditions that are free of known dangers.
- The floors in the work areas must be kept in clean and sanitary conditions.
- The employers must select and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) at no cost to workers.
If you work in areas higher than 4 feet above a lower level, you will need to receive additional training in personal fall arrest equipment and fall prevention systems. Check out this short video from OSHA on stopping falls. In it, OSHA’s Scott Ketcham of the Directorate of Construction describes a fall he experienced early on in his career.
- Items on the floor or trip or slip hazards.
- If the trip hazard can’t be eliminated, them make it conspicuous.
- Always try to provide good footing.
- Keep tools, trash, scrap materials out of walkways.
- Clean as you go.
- Always be wary of oil ice, or snow.
- Pay attention to visual cues, such as change of surface, lighting, and transition areas.
Holes and Floor Openings
A floor opening is an opening in any floor, platform, pavement, or yard that measures at least 12 inches in its smallest dimension and through which a person can fall.
A floor hole is an opening in any floor, platform, pavement, or yard that measures at least one inch, but less than 12 inches at its smallest dimension through which materials and tools– but not people– can fall.
Employers must provide a cover or guard rail if holes or floor openings exist in the workplace.
- Use handrails
- Watch where you step
- Keep your view clear
- Concentrate on the stairs
- Do not run up or down stairs
- Keep stairwells clean
LADDERS & LADDER SAFETY
Defects include, but are not limited to:
- Structural damage, split/bent side rails, broken or missing rungs/steps/cleats and missing or damaged safety devices.
- Grease, dirt, or other contaminants that could cause slips or falls.
- Paint or stickers (except warning or safety labels) that could hide possible defects.
- When ladders with such defects are discovered, they must immediately be withdrawn from service.
- Always use the right ladder.
- Look for a safe location. Prepare firm, level footing.
- Set ladders on level group and tie them off at the top.
- Always face the ladder and try to use both hand when climbing.
- Do not overextend yourself on the ladder.
- Keep area clear of hazards and barricade bottom to protect from traffic.
Visit this link to read OSHA’s Stepladder safety brochure.
For more information on safety in the refinery, check out Gary’s Blog.