Tech Talk Blog

Do Your Permanently Mounted Fixed Ladders Still Comply with OSHA Regulations?

OSHA’s Slips, Trips, and Falls Regulations (Updated July 2017) cover a broad range of fall protection topics, including fixed ladders. For fixed ladders, the most important rule changes involve width and offset distance requirements.

In addition, importantly, cage systems will no longer be an acceptable protection device for ladders 24 feet and higher installed after November 19, 2018.

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Part of Complete Loading Dock Safety Planning

As we approach the Industrial Truck Association’s National Forklift Safety Day, it is a good time to think in broad terms about loading dock safety.

Your company’s loading dock can be a busy place with a lot of distractions. It is also potentially one of the most dangerous – there is staggering statistical evidence confirming the dangers at the loading dock. OSHA statistics indicate that there are roughly 85 fatalities, 35,000 serious injuries, and 95,000 overall incidents involving a forklift each year, which lead to losses of $135 million in direct costs and another $650 million in indirect costs.

Having established procedures to help “control the chaos” is the starting point to create a safer work environment.  Procedures and methods can include writing and following a safe sequence of operation for forklift drivers and those entering the traffic zone, using motion-sensors, LED lights, and audible alarms to alert foot traffic.

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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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New OSHA Regulations for Window Washing Anchors and Rope Descent Systems

By now, you’ve probably heard about OSHA’s revised Walking-Working Surfaces regulations.  Many of the articles published on this topic explore the deadlines to convert from ladder cages to ladder safety systems (we recently published an e-book that discusses the new ladder regulations).  Make no mistake—the revised fixed ladder requirements are significant, but the new OSHA regulations cover additional ground that will impact employers and property owners nationwide.    In this post, we’ll look at the new Walking-Working Surfaces regulations as they relate to the use rope descent systems (RDS) and window washing anchors. 

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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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CEOs Who “GET” Safety: National Safety Council Annual Recap

Every year, The National Safety Council publishes a cover story on CEOs who “get” safety.

The CEOs profiled in this article understand that building a safety culture in their organization starts with them – the choices they make, where they focus their efforts, and the expectations they set for others.  This top-down approach is highly effective for creating a safer work environment for employees. The “CEOs Who Get It” also put safety before profits – although, that isn’t to say, increased safety won’t improve a company’s bottom-line – because it often does!

During a recent NSC Congress and Expo, attendees were surveyed to identify significant safety challenges. By a wide margin, the survey participants said the biggest challenge faced in promoting a safety culture was leadership commitment and engaging employees (62 percent). Reducing risk (18 percent), safety management systems (11 percent), and measuring performance (9 percent) were chosen as the main challenge in promoting a safety culture significantly less.

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Did You Know?

Using chain to guard any loading docks does not meet the OSHA regulation of a rail to be able to withstand a force of 200 pounds in any direction?