Falls hurt—and worse, they can disable or kill. Fall injuries occur in every industry, but they can be prevented or reduced in severity by the worker who is alert.
Falls cost not only your company, but they also cost your workers and their families. They can cost workers pain, time spent at the doctor, enjoyment that you might have had on your time off, lost income when they are out of work, loss of mobility, and inability to do the tasks they usually do for their families around the house.
And, perhaps worst of all, people don’t always recover 100 percent from falls. Permanent pain spots and re-injury points can be created.
Slippery surfaces, poor lighting, obstacles, having vision obscured when carrying packages, and other factors can all cause falls. Make sure your workers are aware when hazards exist, report those which they can't correct themselves, and take steps to reduce their own likelihood of falling down on the job.
Here are some fall prevention tips you can share with employees at a safety meeting:
- Keep alert. Walk through the workplace in an alert, balanced state, watching where you are going and ready to catch yourself quickly should you begin to slip or trip and fall.
- Stay flexible. Those who are not limber usually have a higher center of gravity and are toppled more easily than the supple individual. Daily stretching helps.
- Stay straight. The use of drugs, alcohol, even some prescribed or over-the-counter medications can alter your perception and throw off your sense of balance. Make it a point to find out any side effects of medicine you are taking.
- Wear the right shoes. Be sure that your shoes give you proper support, are the right size, don’t have heels that will catch on the stair treads, and don’t have slippery soles.
- Watch where you're going. Make sure you can see where you're going at all times so that you can see danger ahead. Never carry a load stacked so high that you can't see where you're going.
Minimizing the Impact of FallsNot only should employees know how they can prevent falls, but they should also be prepared to reduce the impact of falls that do occur.
Here are some "safe falling" techniques to consider:
- The head is a heavy body part. Don't tilt your head back as you walk up stairs, throwing off your balance. Look up with your eyes only. If you work at a height and find yourself falling, don't look down with your head either, because that will propel you forward.
- Gripping a nearby railing may help. Use your thumb, along with the little finger and the ring finger to grip. The little and ring fingers actually have more gripping strength than the index and middle fingers.
- When falling, defend the vital areas. It’s better to have soft tissue damage than severe breaks. The head is vulnerable to serious injury and must be protected first of all. Protect it by tucking it to either collarbone. Next comes the spine and back, then the joints such as knees, wrists, shoulders, elbows, and ankles.
- Disperse the force. Spread the impact of the fall over as wide an area as possible. Don't break a fall with only your hands, for instance; use the insides of your forearms along with your hands.
- Relax. Athletes and stunt riders learn this important lesson early. Know how to reduce the force of impact: Yell and exhale when falling.
Prevent Fall IncidentFalls are the leading cause of death in construction / erection and height work in recent years there were many fatal / serious falls to a lower level which lead to maximum fatalities. These deaths are preventable.
As their is many fall accident in recent year many companies and agency have conducted Fall Prevention Campaign/Training in their work area to raise awareness among workers and employees about common fall hazards in construction/erection and height work, to prevent falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs etc..
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely:- When working from heights, 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
Use the right ladder or scaffold to get the job done safely. For roof work, 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 it for safe use.
- TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely:- Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job.
Working on a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it's important to plan ahead, assess the risk and use the right equipment. First, determine if working from a height is absolutely necessary or if there is another way to do the task safely.
- Discuss the task with coworkers and determine what safety equipment is needed.
- Make sure you are properly trained on how to use the equipment.
- Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting the job.
- Make sure you have level ground to set up the equipment.
- If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather.
- Use the correct tool for the job, and use it as intended.
- Ensure stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open.
- Always keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder.
- Place the ladder on a solid surface and never lean it against an unstable surface.
- A straight or extension ladder should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extend at least 3 feet over the top edge.
- Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to an upper support.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes and don't stand higher than the third rung from the top.
- Don't lean or reach while on a ladder, and have someone support the bottom.
- Never use old or damaged equipment; check thoroughly before use.