Workplace falls are one of the leading causes of occupational injuries and deaths nationwide. A fall from as little as 4 feet can have devastating or even catastrophic consequences. This post offers 5 “Must Ask” questions to help assess the health of your company’s fall protection program and benchmark compliance with key OSHA regulations, ANSI guidelines, and industry-accepted best practices.
During rooftop safety assessments, we often ask our clients to point out known fall hazards. The most frequently mentioned rooftop fall hazard is the building’s leading edge. From here, some clients mention roof elevation changes or access hatches, but most struggle to identify additional fall hazards that may trigger OSHA violations. Sometimes the most innocuous feature—for example, a skylight—is the most troublesome omission because folks fail to see the potential dangers posed by areas that appear safe.
Starting January 1, 2015, there are significant changes to OSHA’s reporting policies for work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. The old rules required employers to report all workplace fatalities within 8 hours and instances where three or more workers required hospitalization for the same incident. Under the new reporting requirements, employers will now be required to report ALL work-related fatalities within 8 hours and ALL in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of the incident. Obviously, the new reporting requirements include injuries and deaths from work-related falls.