fall prevention at the workplace

Falls happen as a result of slipping, tripping or falling from elevated areas such as ladders, roofs, trees, step ladders, etc. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries, and falls are oftentimes fatal? In the U.S. for example, “an average of between 150-200 workers each year are killed and more than 100,000 injuries are the result of falls at construction sites,” according to Blog4Safety.

Here are some measures to reduce fall incidents in the workplace:

1) Identify Potential Fall Hazards

You need to be able to identify potential fall hazards before they occur as this is the best way to prevent them from happening. If you’re working on a construction site, demolition site or any other, you should know what fall hazards you’re likely to encounter and be prepared for them. For example, for a person working using a ladder, he has to ensure that the ladder is firm and non-greasy in order to avoid falls.

2) Assess the Situation and Environment

Let’s say for example you’re working from a rooftop, it is appropriate that you critically examine the environment and make sure everything is intact. If you make any discoveries of potential fall hazards, take the necessary steps to abate these potential hazards or report them to the appropriate personnel.

3) Keep Walkways Clear

No objects should be kept along walking areas as workers may not notice them at particular times, thereby leading workers to trip over these objects, causing them to fall.

4) Workplaces Should Be Well-Lit

Lack of proper and sufficient lighting in the workplace can also cause slips/falls. If an area is not lit, workers may have difficulties spotting objects and areas that could cause them to fall. For example, a worker using a stairwell that is not well-lit could miss his step and end up falling.

5) Always Use Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

An employer should make sure to provide top-quality PPEs in a workplace where they are required, and the employee should also make sure to use these PPEs as appropriate. Not only do PPEs limit the intensity of body damage in case of an accident, but they could also prevent falls from happening: wearing safety boots keeps the feet firm on slippery floors.

6) Always Use Equipment for Intended Purpose

Each equipment has its intended purpose of use, and using a piece of equipment wrongly or not using it at all when the need arises could cause harm. For example, attempting to pick items from an elevated level without the use of a stepladder can cause a fall, along with strains.

Fall incidents are detrimental to both the Employer and the Employee in so many ways:

• Injuries result in a decrease in productivity;

• The Employer suffers financial loss by paying for treatments and compensations;

• An Employee could suffer a life-long injury;

• Death could also happen at extreme cases.
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