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Avoiding workplace falls

Improving safety by preventing high falls

It’s a concern in every workplace—fall-related injuries. But there are ways to help reduce the risk. Employee training, management enforcement, and pre-planning can help prevent workers from getting hurt. We’ve put together a set of basic guidelines for you.

Assess elevated work locations and tasks

Establish a monthly self-inspection audit and make sure fixed systems like stairs, handrails, catwalks, skylights, and ladders are regularly checked. See that they’re secure, fitted with non-slip surfaces, and are installed and maintained to meet appropriate code requirements.

Monitor work tasks done in elevated areas

Regularly check jobs where employees climb to, or work from, elevated locations. Even though workers may use something as common as a portable ladder, they may not be aware of the dangers. Train them on safe-use procedures and make sure all portable ladders are assigned to a specific department to help ensure proper maintenance.

Stay educated on advancements in fall-prevention and work practices

Keep up on advancements in fall arrest systems and other new designs and procedures that may help prevent severe injuries or worse.

Teach your employees to think “4-SAFT”

To help employees avoid falls, explain the “4-SAFT” acronym. Here’s what it means:

  • 4-points (two hands and two feet) should be used to steady yourself. Keep at least three of the four in contact with the surface or climbing apparatus. That provides far more stability than just two points.
  • Stay aware of the hazards that occur when working at elevated heights.
  • Assess each job to make sure proper procedures and equipment are in place to safely perform the task
  • Follow approved procedures to effectively do the work.
  • Take appropriate action to correct an issue that may leave an employee/coworker unprotected against a fall while on the job.

By following these simple safety guidelines and continuing to educate yourself and your employees, you’ll be able to help reduce the risks and dangers of workplace falls.

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