One of the more popular fall protection questions we receive relates to OSHA requirements for safety railing and guardrail systems. Determined inquiring minds can consult OSHA’s revised Walking Working Surfaces ruling for general industry, but this can be a laborious process. In the interest of time, here is OSHA’s official stance on guardrail for general industry applications….
The new OSHA General Industry fall protection regulations that went into effect this month are prompting a slew of questions on fixed ladders. If you are wondering when a fixed ladder requires fall protection, which forms of ladder fall protection are OSHA compliant, or if ladder cages still comply with OSHA’s revised ruling, we have just the post for you…..
OSHA’s recent updates to its General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards will impact 112 million workers at 7 million workplaces. According to OSHA estimates, the new Slips, Trips, and Falls regulations will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year. If you are wondering about the timeline for implementing the new standards, we have a new post that may help…..
When folks begin learning about fall safety, they gravitate toward the fall protection systems, best practices, and PPE designed to prevent or arrest falls. All of this is a good start—but learning about the dangers present after a fall is arrested is of equal or greater importance.
When a tied-off worker slips and plunges toward ground level, a properly designed and installed fall arrest system deploys and absorbs the forces associated with the fall, preventing contact with structure below—and/or ground level. In this case, the worker is suspended somewhere between the work surface and ground level. The fall arrest system has done its job, and yet, without a prompt rescue, the same system that arrests a fall can threaten an employee’s life.
Some companies proactively seek out shop hazards and unsafe work practices while other organizations make changes only after disaster strikes. Reactive safety programs draw on lagging indicators (information gathered on the heels of an incident); proactive companies rely on leading indicators to identify unsafe conditions and predict the likelihood of an incident. Few will dispute that a proactive approach yields a safer workplace, but some struggle to determine which leading indicators deserve the most attention when crafting a safety strategy.
When you think about it, this lack of consensus makes sense. There is no single, one-size-fits- all leading indicator to create a risk and incident free workplace. Most safety experts stress leading indicators DO NOT function independently of one another—they work in concert together. This post examines some of the common components of a fall protection program and demonstrates how you can utilize effective leading indicators to create a safer work environment for your employees.
Increasing the quantity of goods moving through your organization’s warehousing and distribution centers–and the speed with which these items move through your supply chain–is vital to improving the bottom line. That said, from a safety perspective, ramped up activity in your distribution centers also increases your organization’s exposure to potential losses. If you ask a seasoned warehousing EHS professional for a list of the most costly potential hazards their employees face, chances are good forklift accidents will top the list. The OSHA statistics bear out this claim; warehouses and distribution centers report 100 fork-truck related fatalities and 95,000 lift truck injuries each year. What these same safety professionals tend to overlook is the potential lost time injuries and fatalities associated with fall hazards.