Guarding Against Fall Hazards on Construction Sites

Fall protection and safety is a major concern on construction sites. Whether it’s repairing a roof, building a new home, or constructing the next skyscraper, there are many ways in which workers can become injured, which emphasizes the need for construction insurance that includes workers’ compensation coverage as well as the right preventative measures.

Safety precautions and procedures must be established to safeguard workers’ lives, especially regarding fall safety. Falls are a leading cause of death in construction but most falls are preventable!

Use Proper Protective Equipment, Properly

Hard hats, protective eyeglasses, safety-toed footwear, and gloves are personal protective equipment that workers should wear on the job at all times. 

Equipment, such as ladders, that your workers will be using on a daily basis should be safe and up to code. Falls from ladders are all too common on construction sites and can be prevented with the proper inspections and safety practices.

Ladder precautions include:

  • Inspect for cracked, broken, or defective parts prior to each use.
  • Safely position portable ladders so the side rails extend at least three feet above the landing.
  • Secure side rails at the top to a sturdy support and use a grab device when a three-foot extension is not possible.
  • When carrying tools, carry them in a belt or consider raising them with a rope.
  • Never use the top three rungs, or top two steps.
  • Have another employee on the ground who can monitor the ladder and worker.

Create a Safe Work Space

A full, fall prevention and safety plan should be created and implemented before any construction begins on your projects. When applicable, require that workers wear a safety harness. Almost all sites have unprotected openings, sides and edges, or floor holes at some point during construction. If these sides and openings are not protected, injuries from falls or falling objects are likely. Workers should use at least one of the following when exposed to a fall of six feet or more:

  • Guardrail systems
  • Safety net systems
  • Fall arrest systems

Prevention is Key!

Falls and falling objects usually result from unstable working surfaces that are not securely positioned. By training employees on how to properly use tools, equipment, and machinery, you’ll help decrease the risk of injuries. Train them on the various safety requirements and procedures as included in your safety plan. Presentations can be given to educate employees on the importance of fall protection and procedures. Schedule weekly safety meetings with management and workers and encourage ongoing communication about these safety practices.

Have a Daily Site Inspection & Cleanup 

Before the workday begins, qualified personnel should inspect all machines, tools, and protective equipment at the construction site. Extension cords, drop cords, and electrical tools should be checked and properly grounded. Examine scaffolding and ladders to ensure they are secure to climb and use by workers. Before workers begin their day, check that their personal protection equipment is properly secured, especially if they’ll be working at high distances.

A clean space is a safe space. Cleaning should be an integral duty of both workers and management. Work areas should always be hazard-free and a full site clean-up should happen at the end of each day.

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that people like you face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.