Workers from various industries like construction, retail, and telecommunications have one very concerning thing in common: hundreds of them tend to suffer from falls on the job every year. Injuries from workplace falls can be quite serious, even fatal.
Jason Wible Frenchcreek points out that falls are among the most common causes of work-related injury and death, and hence fall protection is extremely critical in a myriad of workplace settings.
Jason Wible Frenchcreek underlines certain critical aspects of fall protection at a workplace
Personal Safety is possibly among the most important reasons for the installation and correct use of fall protection systems. Employees who feel safe as they go about their work are likely to be way more productive. When workers know that their employers are effectively trying to ensure their safety and protection, they shall be motivated to perform more competently.
Accidents can cause pain, injuries, and even death in certain instances, making personal safety a clear priority as it has a direct positive impact on individuals and their families well-being. Improved job performance would additionally reduce costs and boost profitability for the company. Lower insurance premiums, and an absence of aggressive litigation help in keeping the costs down. Moreover, companies having a reputation for meeting or exceeding OSHA safety standards are likely to win more contracts easily.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established certain general safety standards for employers to meet, including:
- Employers must have systems in place that prevents employees from falling off elevated locations or into dangerous equipment and machinery, no matter whether the work surface is elevated or not.
- In case someone does fall, then fall protection equipment must be present to reduce the injury risk. Employers need to provide adequate personal protective equipment to employees at no cost.
- Employers have to train workers about possible workplace and activity hazards in ways that they are able to understand. This training should relate to selecting, using, and maintaining the right equipment and systems.
- Employers must not retaliate against anyone who decides to exercise their right to a safe work environment. This right includes an employee raising a safety concern or reporting an accident.
In addition to the safety standards underlined above, certain other standards have also become extremely important today, especially in regard to varied industries and applications, individual job functions, as well as workplace environments.
Jason Wible Frenchcreek points out that in case a workplace has overhead platforms, elevated workstations, or requires workers to enter into confined spaces, there is a good chance that the setting would need a fall protection system in place.
Jason Wible is the President of FrenchCreek, a company that offers engineered safety systems and standard fall safety products. He further mentions that in most situations, the elevation of four feet or more necessitates fall protection. While four feet may not seem a lot, but someone weighing 200 pounds falling from four feet may hit the ground with 1,600 pounds of force. Specific job sites would need certain additional means of fall prevention, like safety harnesses and line systems using fall arrest posts.