“OSHA National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls In Construction – May 8-12, 2017” #StandDown4Safety

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Fall Prevention Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.


What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”. It’s an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall hazards they see.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.

Partners

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and FAQ’s

Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the May 8-12, 2017. SeeSuggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.

Certificate of Participation

Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.

Share Your Story With Us

If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs or suggestions on how we can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to oshastanddown@dol.gov. Also share your Stand-Down story on social media, with the hashtag: #StandDown4Safety.

If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA’s Events page to submit the event details and to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator.

Additional Resources:

OSHA’s Falls Prevention Campaign Page (en español)

Fall Prevention Training Guide – A Lesson Plan for Employers (PDF) (EPUB | MOBI). Spanish (PDF) (EPUB | MOBI).

Fall Prevention Publications Webpage contains fall prevention materials in English and Spanish.

Ladder Safety Guidance

Scaffolding

  • Ladder Jack Scaffolds Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Narrow Frame Scaffolds Fact Sheet (HTML PDF)
  • Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Erection and Use Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Planning and Design Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Scaffolding Booklet (HTML PDF)
  • OSHA Scaffold eTool
Stand-Down Partner Materials

Outreach Training Materials

Fall Safety Videos

Additional Educational Materials

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“OSHA Walking-Working Surfaces & Fall Protection Final Rule Requirement Implementation Dates “

On November 18, 2016, OSHA finally published a final rule updating the walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards for general industry. Percolating since 1990 (55 FR 13360), reopened in 2003 (68 FR 23528) and again in 2010 (75 FR 28862), revisions to the walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards were long overdue. OSHA’s 500+ final rule gives employers new options to combat slip, trip and fall hazards (Subpart D) while adding employer requirements to ensure those new options provide for enhanced safety.

It adds a new section under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standard (Subpart I) that specifies employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems and clarifies obligations for several specific industries, including telecommunications, pulp, paper and paperboard mills, electrical power generation, transmission and distribution, textiles and sawmills.

The final rule addresses fall protection options (including personal fall protection systems), codifies guidance on rope descent systems, revises requirements for fixed and portable ladders, prohibits the use of body belts as part of a personal fall arrest system, and establishes training requirements on fall hazards and fall protection equipment. OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels stated, “The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries.” OSHA notes the final rule also increases consistency between general and construction industries, which it believes will help employers and workers that work in both industries.

The rule is effective January 17, 2017, but some of the requirements are phased in over time. Phased-in or delayed compliance dates include:

• May 17, 2017

  • Training exposed workers on fall and equipment hazards

• November 20, 2017

  • Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages

• November 19, 2018

  • Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structure
  • Equipping existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, with a cage, ell, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system

• November 18, 2036

  • Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet

OSHA estimates the rule will affect 112 million workers at nearly 7 million worksites and will prevent 29 fatalities and over 5800 injuries annually.

Many employers that have been operating under the cover of OSHA interpretive letters and statements in the preambles of the proposed rules because the standards in place were so outdated and/or ill-suited to particular work environments. For them, the final rule offers an opportunity to confirm that their policies are compliant. However, those employers should scrutinize the final rule to ensure the interpretations they were relying on were incorporated and that no additional actions are required.

Some have suggested that Congress may seek to overrule these changes using the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) (5 U.S.C. §§801-808), but that action is risky because the CRA is such a blunt instrument. The CRA can only be used to repeal a regulatory act in its entirety; it cannot be used to amend the regulation. Moreover, repudiation by Congress of a final rule prohibits the agency from issuing a substantially similar rule in the future.

Congress has only used the CRA once—to overrule the ergonomics regulation OSHA adopted at the end of the Clinton Administration. Congress should recognize that the provisions of this final rule are too important to too many employers for it to act reflexively by disapproving the entire rule and prohibiting further action on these issues.

A copy of the final rule is found here. More on the final rule, including OSHA’s Fact Sheet, can be found on OSHA’s website here.

“How You Can Prevent “Slips, Trips & Falls.”

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of inattention thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway. A trip over an uneven surface. Slipping on the ice. It can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:

  • 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • About 25 percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Metal surfaces – dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.

1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.

Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started

  • Plan ahead– Know what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and what the particular work area should look like when you are done.
  • Assign responsibilities– It may be necessary to assign a specific person or group of workers to clean up, although personal responsibility for cleaning up after himself/herself is preferred.
  • Implement a program– Establish housekeeping procedures as a part of the daily routine.

2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include

Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.

  • Keep parking lots and sidewalks clean and in good repair condition.
  • When snow and ice are present, remove or treat these elements. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to suspend use of the area.
  • Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint whenever possible.

Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.

  • Use moisture-absorbent mats with beveled edges in entrance areas. Make sure they have backing material that will not slide on the floor.
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
  • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Create a procedure for taking the appropriate action when someone causes or comes across a food or drink spill.
  • Use proper area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.

3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas clean and orderly.
  • Avoid stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or in any designated aisle.
  • In office areas, avoid leaving boxes, files or briefcases in the aisles.
  • Encourage safe work practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor.
  • Conduct periodic inspections for slip and trip hazards.

4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.

  • Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
  • Keep work areas well lit and clean.
  • Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  • Keep poorly lit walkways clear of clutter and obstructions.
  • Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
  • Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.

5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.

6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries

“Fall Protection: Working On Tops Of Trucks & Rolling Stock……Which Rule Do I Follow?…. OSHA? DOT? “

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants more control over trucking, and the latest focus is on fall protection. Tank fleets, in particular, are being targeted in the current OSHA initiative.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

This is a proposal that we have to take seriously,” says John Conley, president of National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). “OSHA really wants to get more involved in the trucking industry. I just hope that DOT (the Department of Transportation) will object to this intrusion into what is, and should be, its turf. Transportation vehicles present a unique workplace and not one to which OSHA can just apply its standards from other stationary facilities. NTTC will submit comments — which are due August 23 — reflecting the views and concerns of our members.”

Conley says OSHA is taking an unusual approach to the fall protection issue. Rather than propose new regulations for commercial vehicles in the 292-page rulemaking, which contains many significant changes to 29CFR Part 1910, it is asking for information on whether there is “a need to propose specific requirements for the protection of employees exposed to falls from rolling stock and motor vehicles.” The agency states in its rulemaking that “If, in response to this issue, OSHA receives sufficient comments and evidence to warrant additional rulemaking, a separate proposed rule will be issued.”

There always has been a bit of a gray area regarding what regulatory authority, if any, OSHA has over trucking equipment, according to Conley. Since its inception, OSHA has tried to get its nose under the trucking tent and into the cab and onto the trailer. OSHA and DOT signed a memorandum of understanding in the 1970s where each agency agreed to not regulate where the other had established jurisdiction. DOT has maintained that it regulates truck equipment but has never addressed fall protection and trailers. OSHA’s directive to its field staff is still to not “cite employee exposure to fall hazards on the tops of rolling stock unless the rolling stock was positioned inside or contiguous to a building where the installation of fall protection is feasible.”

“Make no mistake that OSHA would very much like to propose a regulation on fall protection in this proposed rulemaking, but must have felt it would be challenged as to whether it was the responsible regulatory agency,” Conley says. “The effort to ask questions to determine if such a regulation needs to be written should be viewed as an effort by OSHA to either exercise that authority or to pressure DOT to do so. Remember, OSHA is much emboldened in the Obama Administration, and a power grab makes bureaucratic turf sense.

“Please keep in mind that if you conduct operations in mining facilities or locations that are governed by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), that agency does not have a similar agreement with DOT and does require fall protection equipment for employees who go on top of trailers. Also, the OSHA proposal and request for information does not apply to railroad cars since the Federal Railroad Administration already has jurisdiction over that equipment.”

The Cargo Tank Risk Management Committee (CTRMC) also argues that OSHA has no legitimate reason for wresting control over motor vehicles — specifically cargo tanks — from DOT. The tank truck industry and DOT have done a good job of managing fall hazards on motor vehicles over the years.

“Our data and evidence suggest the frequency of injuries sustained in a fall from a transportation tank is extremely low,” says John Cannon, secretary of CTRMC and vice-president of engineering at Walker Group Holdings. “A typical large cargo tank motor vehicle fleet makes over 300 deliveries per day and has averaged less than two falls from its tank trailers per year. Most of the falls were from the ladder, not the tank top.”

He adds that the effective improvement of worker safety from fall-related injuries on transportation tanks is a complex challenge, requiring the participation of many industry stakeholders. The CTRMC was formed for that very purpose. The group held its first meeting in March, and the next one is scheduled for September.

“We’re taking a proactive approach to fall protection on transport equipment, and we are getting outstanding participation from the fleets, shippers, and equipment manufacturers that are part of CTRMC,” Cannon says. “We believe the best solutions come from those that are closest to an issue. The tank truck industry has many small businesses with fragile economic models. We need to ensure that improvements related to workers on transportation tanks are financially feasible.”

Tank truck fleets do provide fall protection training for truck drivers. Training typically includes fall hazard recognition and company-specific policies to reduce the potential for falls. Trucking companies with the most aggressive training programs cover falls during the initial orientation, recurrent training, periodic safety communications, and remedial training.

Drivers are protected from fall hazards in a variety of ways. Loading racks at shipper facilities have fixed railings. Fall arrest systems (harnesses and retractable lanyards) can be installed at the loading rack or on the transport tank. Some transport tanks have side walkways, handrails, and outer railings. Some transport tanks are built with systems (like bottom loading) that remove any need for the driver to climb on top of the tank.

The battle goes on. The only OSHA rule in place is the 1996 Rolling Stock rule and the GDC.

If it were me, I’d use the following document as guidance: http://resources.xlgroup.com/docs/xlenvironmental/library/risk_consulting/5241_Vehicle_Fall_Protection.pdf

PDF Source: XL Insurance

 

 

“2014 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index – 10 Leading Causes Of Injuries & Their Cost”

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Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety Releases 2014 Workplace Safety Index
10 leading causes of injury result in nearly $60 billion in total workers compensation costs

January 14, 2015 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
HOPKINTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has released its 2014 Workplace Safety Index, which ranks the 10 leading causes of workplace injuries and their associated direct workers compensation costs.

“For example, using our tribology research – slipperiness assessment tools – our risk control consultants can actually get in on the ground floor and meet with building designers and architects to recommend flooring standards that create safer interior and exterior walking surfaces”

Overexertion ranked first as the leading cause of disabling injury. The category, which includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing, cost U.S. businesses $15.1 billion and accounted for more than one quarter of the top 10 disabling injury causes in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. All told, the listed injury causes amounted to nearly $60 billion in total U.S. workers compensation costs or more than $1 billion dollars a week spent by businesses on disabling injuries.

The Workplace Safety Index is developed annually by Liberty Mutual researchers based on information from the company’s workers compensation claims, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Using BLS injury event coding, researchers determined which injuries caused an employee to miss six or more days of work and then ranked those events by total workers compensation costs.

The top five injury causes accounted for 65.4 percent of the total 2012 workplace injury cost burden, based on Liberty Mutual data. The leading “overexertion” category and the two “falls” categories among the top five combined to generate more than 50 percent of the leading causes of disabling workplace injuries.

Liberty Mutual works with its commercial insurance customers to help them mitigate these and other risks of injury in workplaces of all sizes. Using findings from the Research Institute for Safety, the company’s Risk Control Services team developed a wide-variety of tools and services to help lessen the likelihood of the types of injuries listed in the Workplace Safety Index. To reduce overexertion injuries, Liberty Mutual uses ergonomic assessment tools, including a freely-accessible online calculator, to help businesses understand the risks associated with manual handling tasks including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying.

“When we know the acceptable weights and forces that employees can perform under, we use that information to design safer manual handling jobs,” said Wayne S. Maynard, program director, Risk Control Technical Services. “Potentially thousands of manual handling jobs, from construction and industrial to hospitality and healthcare, are now safer as a result of the use of this and other ergonomic assessment tools developed in partnership with our Research Institute.”

According to Mr. Maynard, the direct costs of workplace slips, trips and fall injuries have continued to rise for more than a decade. Utilizing specialized risk control procedures and programs gives businesses the opportunity to be more proactive in facility design. “For example, using our tribology research – slipperiness assessment tools – our risk control consultants can actually get in on the ground floor and meet with building designers and architects to recommend flooring standards that create safer interior and exterior walking surfaces,” Maynard added.

Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services is comprised of hundreds of certified and credentialed consultants organized with dedicated units for specific lines of business and industries. Specialized resources are offered in Enterprise Risk Management, Crisis Management, Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity. Consultations are available to all commercial policyholders either onsite, by phone or online. For more information about Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services contact Nick Shah, director, Special Projects at 617-654-3532 or Nick.Shah@LibertyMutual.com.

Download a copy of supporting documentation here: http://www.libertymutualgroup.com/omapps/ContentServer?c=cms_document&pagename=LMGResearchInstitute/cms_document/ShowDoc&cid=1138365240689

 

“Michael Scott’s Guide to Surviving Your 9-5 [Infographic]”

Office Safety… boring? Not if you’re Michael Scott, fictional boss of NBC’s “The Office” (2005 – 2013).

The Office, known for its cringe-worthy, realistic deadpan humor, became one of TV’s best comedies and was nominated for 42 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning five. The series focuses on the day-to-day operation of Dunder Mifflin, a regional paper company in Scranton Pennsylvania. Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, is the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Boss” and can do no wrong in his own mind. He loves himself, hates the HR rep Toby, and throws around one-liners like it’s his job. His antics are often hilarious to himself but painfully awkward to the rest of the company. Just check out this clip from the episode Safety Training:

The Safety Training episode was inspiration to create an infographic all about real office safety issues that companies everywhere need to be aware of. It’s presented from the perspective of Michael Scott and includes quotes and pictures from the show as well as plenty of educational information about the dangers of the workplace:

Please include attribution to http://www.resultsyoudeserve.com/ with this graphic.

Michael Scott

Chances are you don’t work at one of the top ten deadliest jobs, but that doesn’t mean you can brush off safety. Just take a look at some of the most common workplace injuries:

Lifting – If lifting isn’t part of your every day job, chances are you’re not going to be thinking of safety when it’s time to move the heavy printer from one room into another. Without proper awareness, you may just grab it and start moving, seriously damaging your back in the process.

Tendon Injury – Most office workers are at their computers for 8 hours a day, sitting in the same position and going through the same motions the entire time. This could cause tendon injury or carpal tunnel syndrome, leaving you unable to do much of anything. Take breaks to prevent muscle tightness. Get up and walk around, and don’t forget to stretch your fingers.

Stress – According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job. Increased stress leads to health problems and can even cause heart attacks. The NYPD even automatically classifies all employee heart attacks as “work related injuries.”

Toppling Objects – Do you work in a cluttered office? If so, you may be in more danger than you think. Workers will often dangerously overload shelves due to lack of space. It’s only a matter of time before that old fax machine falls off of its overcrowded bookshelf and onto someone’s head.

What to do if you’re injured on the job

If you are ever injured on the job, no matter how minor it is, make sure you document the entire event and report it to your supervisor as soon as it happens. Then contact us at Katherman Briggs & Greenberg right away. During our 30 years of experience with personal injury lawsuits, we’ve seen many instances when employers deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. We provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation that well help you get the assistance that you deserve.

For more information about workers’ compensation and how Katherman Briggs & Greenberg can help you, call our offices listed below for a complimentary consultation.  

“Safety Photo of the Day” – “Hey, Let Me Give You A Hand With That Ladder”

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OSHA Quick Card
Portable Ladder Safety

Falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.

  • Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
  • Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
  • Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
  • Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram).
  • Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
  • Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
  • Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
  • Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
  • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
  • Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
  • The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram).
  • A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
  • Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.

 

For more information:

OSHA Occupational
Safety and Health
Administration

U.S. Department of Labor
www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA

How You Can Prevent “Slips, Trips & Falls.”

 

“I wonder how many people were injured in the making of this video?”

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of inattention thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway. A trip over an uneven surface. Slipping on the ice. It can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:

  • 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • About 25 percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Metal surfaces – dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.

1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.

Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started

  • Plan ahead– Know what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and what the particular work area should look like when you are done.
  • Assign responsibilities– It may be necessary to assign a specific person or group of workers to clean up, although personal responsibility for cleaning up after himself/herself is preferred.
  • Implement a program– Establish housekeeping procedures as a part of the daily routine.

2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include

Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.

  • Keep parking lots and sidewalks clean and in good repair condition.
  • When snow and ice are present, remove or treat these elements. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to suspend use of the area.
  • Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint whenever possible.

Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.

  • Use moisture-absorbent mats with beveled edges in entrance areas. Make sure they have backing material that will not slide on the floor.
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
  • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Create a procedure for taking the appropriate action when someone causes or comes across a food or drink spill.
  • Use proper area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.

3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas clean and orderly.
  • Avoid stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or in any designated aisle.
  • In office areas, avoid leaving boxes, files or briefcases in the aisles.
  • Encourage safe work practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor.
  • Conduct periodic inspections for slip and trip hazards.

4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.

  • Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
  • Keep work areas well lit and clean.
  • Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  • Keep poorly lit walkways clear of clutter and obstructions.
  • Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
  • Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.

5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.

6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries

“The Fatal Four” – Safety in the Construction Industry [Infographic]

Safety should be one of the top priorities of any construction company. Since the 7th annual Construction Safety Day is just around the corner, Viewpoint decided to take a deeper look at the construction industry’s safety statistics over the past decade.

The infographic below breaks down the most common injuries in construction, work fatalities in each construction type, how construction’s fatalities compare to other industry numbers, and construction fatalities by state.

Construction SafetyInfographic by Viewpoint

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign – “Are Your Employees Trained?”

Falls From Floor – Floor

Falls From Bridges

Leading Edge Falls

Re-Roofing Falls

Scaffolding Falls

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable.

Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:

This website is part of OSHA‘s nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. The educational resources page gives workers and employers information about falls and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency.

We invite you to join in this effort by helping to reach workers and employers in your community with the resources you find on this site. OSHA will continue to add information and tools to this page throughout the year.

OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) – Construction Sector on this nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved. Here’s how:

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

PROVIDE the right equipment
Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it’s still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they’ll be using on the job.

OSHA has provided numerous materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction. Falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan, Provide and Train.

Campaign Partners

 

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