Tech Talk Blog

Is Your Company Preparing to Take a Fall?

In a recent NSC safety newsletter, the National Safety Council highlights an OSHA requirement that employers have a written emergency action plan. Although there are some exceptions, this policy covers nearly all employers with 11 or more employees.

Any emergency plan should be geared toward specific organizational needs – the size of your facility, the number of employees, and the hazards specific to your business or location. That plan should be reviewed at least once a year. If your facility includes areas where workers use PPE – personal protective equipment – to prevent or arrest a fall, it becomes imperative to have an actionable plan to promptly rescue that worker.

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All in Favor – Please Stand Down

Even with additional scrutiny, shared advice, and greater workplace diligence, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 849 workers lost their lives in fall related incidents during 2016.   Diversified Fall Protection believes that many, if not all of those deaths, were preventable.

The National Safety Stand-Down, held annually in early May, raises fall hazard awareness across the United States in an effort to stop fatalities and injuries associated with falls. Since May 2014, fall protection and safety leaders across the country have rallied to support OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down. The event offers a powerful platform from which experts can remind employers and workers of the prevalence of deaths and incidents from falls; make sure they understand the dangers they face each day; and give them access to the fall protection equipment and resources they need to protect themselves and their coworkers.

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Is Your Fall Protection Program Proactive or Reactive?

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.

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Is Your Fall Protection Funding Request Falling On Deaf Ears? Try This….

no-tileYou are a conscientious safety professional who has identified a potential fall hazard in your facility. You’ve done your due diligence and selected a reputable fall protection company to provide a solution after reviewing proposals from multiple vendors, but the CapEx request is falling on deaf ears with upper management. You are on a first-name basis with the folks in your plant, and you’ve met their wives, husbands, and children during company functions, but you don’t have the funding required to move forward with the fall protection project to keep them safe.
If this scenario sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. The narrative above plays out every day in the working world, but the cause is not lost. Rather than conceding defeat, it’s time to switch tactics to win support (and funding) for your project.

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What You Can Learn From Another Company’s Willful Neglect For Workplace Safety

Four months ago, OSHA cited Material Handling Systems/MHS Technical Services for failure to provide fall protection for their employees working on conveyor systems at an Illinois United Parcel Service facility.   Last month, a 42-year-old MHS employee fell 22 feet to his death at the same UPS facility.  OSHA has fined MHS $320,000 due to the company’s “serial disregard of fall protection.”

We are dedicating a Tech Talk post to this tragic story because it tells a cautionary tale we should all heed.  For starters, the accident victim could have been your father, son, or husband—and this is a workplace death that could have been prevented. 

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5 Must Ask Fall Protection Questions

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.

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Did You Know?

A Horizontal Lifeline System must be engineered for two times the applied load in the event of a fall?