In his speech addressed to the American Society of Safety Engineers last year, OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels discussed the importance of safety training in preventing fatal falls in construction. “Safety pays,” enthused Dr. Michaels. “Safety does not just prevent injuries, it will save you money.”
Indeed, it does. Every year, companies shell out over $250 billion due to workplace fatalities and injuries—a third of which constitute falls. So far, no data has been released as to how much companies save with safety training, although fatality figures have dwindled since OSHA has actively launched safety training campaigns.
How much does an employer or employee have to invest in fall prevention or fall arrest training? Not much, apparently. Training costs no more than a hundred dollars, and should be finished before work starts. Imagine how much both employers and workers could save from training than running the risk of getting injured on the job. Construction and General Industry 10- and 30-hour training provides fall protection training.
Plan, Train, Provide
Just like last year’s campaign, this year’s fall prevention campaign focuses on the importance of planning ahead, furnishing workers the right equipment, and training everyone in using said equipment. Let’s dissect each campaign component:
1. PLAN ahead to accomplish the job safely.
Employers should come up with a fall prevention plan to identify how tasks will be done and what safety equipment is needed. During the planning stage, employers should also consider the cost of the job and safety equipment (e.g. personal fall arrest system).
2. Provide the right kind of equipment.
As mentioned earlier, falls can be prevented with the provision of the right kind of equipment. Employers should provide fall protection equipment such as ladders, scaffold, guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.
3. Train everyone to use the equipment safely.
Employers should provide workers training especially on hazard recognition of fall potential and the use of fall arrest and protection equipment. This way, falls can be prevented effectively
Do your part to spread the word!
OSHAcampus.com encourages workers and you, our readers, to actively share and promote the fall prevention campaign to your colleagues, employers, loved ones or someone you know who works in construction. Visit www.stopconstructionfalls.com to download posters, campaign and training resources to stop fall injuries. The site is hosted by the Center for Construction Research and Training.
If you want to be a campaign partner, you can get your organization listed by way of the said website. As a partner, you can reach out to companies and organizations about the campaign by posting the campaign link on your website, including an announcement in your company newsletter, or post on social media accounts.