Safety is a keystone of the construction industry!
Workers work from aerial lifts, scissor lifts, boom lifts, and are exposed to various hazards. That is why committing to safety for everyone, and the overall workplace is crucial.
One of the most popular causes of injuries and deaths on a construction site is falling. 42% of the construction workers’ injuries involve falls.
You might be unfamiliar with many details involved in working at heights, but one important consideration is worker safety. You need to identify- how falls happen, and what measures can be taken to increase safety at worksites! If you still don’t know where to start, here’s your complete guide to understand potential hazards and prevent falls:
What Causes Falls?
There are some common places where a worker can fall. This includes roofs, scaffolding, and ladders (specifically when they are misused), unprotected floor or roof openings.
There are also tripping hazards that result in falls, like exposed rebar and electrical cords.
Another reason is excessive noise at sites, which can make it hard for workers to listen to verbal warnings from their supervisors and co-workers.
Preventing Falls at Construction Sites
The first thing to preventing falls is a thorough inspection of a job site.
Inspections will help you identifying unprotected ledges, potential tripping hazards, and areas of excessive noise. Besides using safety devices and equipment, operator training is another crucial factor that promotes workplace safety.
Workers need to have AerialLiftCertification to stay up to date and create a safer workplace. It involves best practices and safety regulations on how to inspect heavy machinery and to use fall protection systems.
Here are some tips on how to prevent falls on a construction site:
Using Safety Nets
The safety nets system includes installing nets as close as possible to the work area. They protect employees working at heights by catching them before they fall. It provides passive protection means no need for inspecting certain personal protective wear. However, you must ensure that safety nets make sense in terms of safety. Some major points include:
- Make sure you have enough clearance to prevent hitting the floor below the net. Do trials by dropping human-weight sandbags from a significant height to get assured.
- Try to exceed the net to have maximum work area covered and secured.
- Workspaces that are more than 25 feet above the floor need nets.
- Nets must be installed in the areas that involve scaffolds, ladders, safety lines.
Install Guardrail Systems
Installing guardrails at the roofs and any area that is prone to hazards help prevent workers from falling. The top edge height of guardrails should be 42 inches above the walking surface.
In case if the wall is 20 inches high, install extra safety systems like mesh, mid-rails, screens, or solid panels. Guardrail systems are appropriate for ramps when working around hoist areas and holes.
A full-body harness is a key component of a fall arrest system. It minimizes stress on a worker’s body by distributing the force of fall over a significant area of the body and keeps the employee in an upright position.
Make sure to wear the harness properly to ensure effectiveness and safety. It must have a snug fit, but still, provide the ease to perform tasks.
Lanyard or SRL
Length, hook design, material, and shock-absorbing functionality are some diverse traits of the connecting equipment. Two common connecting devices are SRLs and lanyards.
Lanyards are composed of cable that has a fixed length of 6 feet. They are designed with internal/external energy-absorbing functionality to use in fall arrest.
SRL (Self-retracting lanyard) also employs a cable lifeline that is available in varied lengths. The lifeline pulls out and retracts easily, much like a shoulder belt in a car.
Preventing falls has moved to the forefront, and the issues of injuries and equipment losses caused by falling from height are being addressed. With simple, easy to implement solutions, you can mitigate the hazards. Investigate the above options to find the right solution for you.