WARNING: Worker Falls are the Leading Cause of Death and Serious Injury
Since 2015 there have been 37 fatalities and 1,029 injuries resulting from worker falls – all of which were entirely preventable. Be aware of your surroundings, especially around edges, shafts, and floor openings. Never work near an edge, open shaft, or floor opening without proper fall protection. This includes those workers performing roofing, solar panel, antenna, and chimney work.
Get Safety Training
Obtain 40 hours of Site Safety Training, including 8 hours of Fall Prevention training when performing any construction work that includes fall hazards. Site Safety Training is required on construction projects with a Site Safety Manager, Site Safety Coordinator, or Construction Superintendent.
Drops Greater than Six Feet Must Use Fall Protection
If you are working above a six foot drop your employer must provide fall protection. This can include providing you with a safety harness or installing guard rails or hole coverings.
Slips and Trips
Be on the lookout for slipping and tripping hazards.
On February 17, 2021 a worker performing roofing work without a harness fell three stories to his death. A safety harness must be properly connected to a lifeline.
Wearing a harness is not enough! You must be tied off to a secured lifeline for it to work.
Floor and Shaft Openings
Floor and shaft openings must have fall protection, such as guardrails or hole coverings.
A typical wooden guardrail consists of a toprail (39” – 45” high), midrail (midway between the toprail and floor), and toeboard (minimum 3.5” high), attached to 2” x 4” posts spaced no more than 8’ apart. Guardrails must be able to withstand at least 200 pounds of lateral force.
On February 15, 2021 a worker fell one story to his death through a floor opening whose covering was inadequately sized and not secured. Be sure hole coverings are larger than the hole itself, able to support twice the weight of the worker, material, or equipment above, secured to prevent displacement, and marked to provide warning of the hazard.
Unprotected sides and edges of any walking surface, be it a floor or roof, are referred to as leading edges and must have fall protection such as guardrails or safety netting.
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