Did you know that same level slip, trips
and falls are the second leading cause of lost time work injuries in the U.S.
Sprains and strains are the number one hazards when it comes to floor openings.
Employers are required to identify hazards, like floor safety hazards within
their job sites and put into plans into place to eliminate the risks.
OSHA defines a hole as a gap or void 2 or
more inches in its least dimension in a floor or other walking/working surface.
Covers are to be used to address the hazards associated with holes, to prevent
tripping in, and stepping into. With that in mind the covers must be:
Capable of supporting, without failure, at least twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.
The cover must completely cover the opening, be secured in place by (nails, screws, etc) to prevent accidental displacement by wind, equipment or employees.
Covers must be marked with “HOLE” or “ COVER” to provide warning of the hazard. Everyone on the project must be made aware of the presence of all holes in the work areas.
Here are a few easy things you can do to
avoid, and help prevent slip, trips, and falls.
Pay attention when walking. Avoid talking, texting on your phone, or carrying materials or plans that restrict your view of the path in front of you.
Practice good housekeeping, and don’t be in a hurry to complete your daily job task.
Bottom line the DANGER is very real. The
CONTROLS are very simple. This is a HAZARD that should never be allowed to
Ladders are tools. Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder:
If you feel tired or dizzy, or are prone to losing your balance, stay off the ladder.
Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
Wear clean slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use since they are not considered sufficiently slip resistant.
Before using a ladder,inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition.
Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected.
Rickety ladders that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
The ladder you select must be the right size for the job.
The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber,tools,supplies,and other objects placed upon the ladder. The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
When the ladder is set-up for use, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).
Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
Read the safety information labels on the ladder.
The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.
Three Point-of-Contact Climb
Factors contributing to falls from ladders
include haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, the condition of the ladder
(worn or damaged), the user’s age or physical condition, or both, and the
Although the user’s weight or size typically does not increase the likelihood of a fall, improper climbing posture creates user clumsiness and may cause falls. Reduce your chances of falling during the climb by:
wearing slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent foot fatigue;
cleaning the soles of shoes to maximize traction;
using towlines, a tool belt or an assistant to convey materials so that the climbers hands are free when climbing;
climbing slowly and deliberately while avoiding sudden movements;
never attempting to move a ladder while standing on it;
keeping the center of your belt buckle (stomach) between the ladder side rails when climbing and while working. Do not overreach or lean while working so that you don’t fall off the ladder sideways or pull the ladder over sideways while standing on it.
When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize Three Points-of-Contact because it minimizes the chances of slipping and falling from the ladder. At all times during ascent, descent, and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails. In this way, the climber is not likely to become unstable in the event one limb slips during the climb. It is important to note that the climber must not carry any objects in either hand that can interfere with a firm grip on the ladder. Otherwise, Three Points-of-Contact with the ladder cannot be adequately maintained and the chance of falling is increased in the event a hand or foot slip occurs.
Jordan Foster Construction and our subcontractors participated in the National Stand Down for Fall Prevention across the state of Texas last week.
Jordan Foster Construction partnered with the regional OSHA
offices and Vendors to assist in making these events spectacular, in spite of
the weather conditions that were encountered in some of our locations.
We want to take the time to say Thank You to the following
Alex Porter, Area Director, US DOL OSHA, San
Antonio Area Office
Abraham Arzola, Compliance Assistance
Specialist, US DOL OSHA, El Paso Area Office
Jim Shelton, Compliance Assistance Specialist,
US DOL OSHA, Houston North Area Office
HD Supply – Ben Pratt
Border Construction Specialties – James Harrald
MSA – BJ Shrader
Representatives from Lawless Group of Houston
Representatives from Guardian Fall Protection
Representatives from SafeWaze
Representatives from Hilti Tools
Topics focused on Fall Prevention and Protection, to include
ladder safety, proper construction of guardrails, basic Scissor Lift awareness
and proper installation and use of a Personal Fall Arrest System.
However, we also took the opportunity to address other
safety topics including:
Electrical Safety and
Fire Extinguisher Training
Commercial Division – El Paso, TX – Plaza Hotel Renovation & Parking
Our Partnership with OSHA at the Plaza Hotel Renovation and
Parking Garage project has been an amazing experience. Over the last 8 months we have been able to
draw on the wonderful resources of our Compliance Assistance Specialist,
Abraham Arzola. Last week was no
He attends many of our monthly stand downs to help continue
to build the strong relationship we have with OSHA. Here you see him talking with John Goodrich,
President Infrastructure Division and Damian Alvarez, EHS Manager.
Border Safety Systems presented the fall protection
awareness training to the JFC and subcontractor employees.
Infrastructure Group – El Paso, TX
As we prepare to begin the “Montana Project” in El Paso that
includes the construction of several bridges we wanted to take the opportunity
to gather most of our Infrastructure employees together to talk to them about
the importance of fall protection.
Border Safety Services performed the fall protection demonstration
along with BJ Schrader with MSA.
Multifamily Division – Houston, TX – SBC Kingwood
Our multifamily division took the opportunity to invite Mr.
Jim Shelton, the Compliance Assistance Specialist for the OSHA – Houston North
Area Office to meet with SBC Kingwood Project team members and
subcontractors. In spite of 5” of rain
the day of the event there were 70 total attendees for a total of 2 hours of
training including Ladder Safety, Fall Prevention & Personal Fall Arrest
Systems presented by Lawless Group of Houston.
Additionally, the local representative from Hilti demonstrated some of
the tools that can be used for Respirable Crystalline Silica Exposure
Commercial Division – San Antonio, TX – Thompson Hotel @ the Riverwalk
Our commercial division in San Antonio, TX took the
opportunity to spend a week focusing on safety training that ranged from Fall
Prevention and Protection to general safety awareness.
Mr. Alex Porter, Area Director for the OSHA San Antonio Area
Office joined us on Thursday for the “official” Fall Protection Stand Down and
spent time talking with our team members and all of our subcontractor workers
about the importance of fall prevention and protection.
Infrastructure Division – Austin, TX
Like many of our locations, our Austin Infrastructure
Division fought weather complications, ultimately deciding to schedule the
meeting at the Office and Shop location rather than meeting on projects that
were rained out.
Ben Pratt with HD Supply presenting the Fall Prevention and
Protection Training to all of the workers.
The first full week of May is dedicated to Fall Prevention. This focus is for the Construction Industry, but Falls occur in every industry, so regardless of what industry you work in, why not take a moment to talk with your employees about the potential fall hazards in their workplace and at their homes and educate them on how to prevent injuries and fatalities related to falls.
Approximately 1/3 of the construction fatalities in 2017 were the result of falls. And all of those fatalities were preventable.
Fatalities from falls don’t have to occur from a great height, they can occur from a fall on the same level…all it takes is for the victim to fall in such a way that they strike their head on something, so don’t ignore the hazards associated with:
Ladders – Step ladders, Straight ladders, and even Step stools
Holes in the walking surface
Changes in elevations – Curbs, mechanical troughs
Housekeeping – Trash, Spilled liquids, Mud or Ice accumulation
OSHA has put together a collection of resource materials that you can use for your Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction this week. Click here. These resources aren’t exclusive to this week…so use them through out the year to reinforce your message.
The construction industry doesn’t hold the exclusive rights to fall hazards or the fatalities associated with them. So, if you work in other industries make sure you take the time to look at the work areas and assess them for fall hazards. Some of the common potential hazards that come to mind when I think about other industries are:
Stairs – do your workers properly use the stairs?
Ladders – do your workers properly use ladders?
Loading docks – are your loading docks properly protected?
are all of your materials properly stored so they don’t become tripping hazards?
are all spills cleaned up properly so they don’t become slip hazards?
Now, for the one that hits home. Literally, at home. Think about all the things that you may do around your home that could create a fall hazard.
Do you use a ladder when you need to change that burned out light bulb, or do you stand on a chair? If you do use a ladder is it tall enough or are you standing on the top of it?
Do you use a step stool to reach the items stored on the top shelf of your kitchen cabinets, or are you standing on a chair, or, even worse, the counter?
Do you use the ladder properly when you are hanging your Holiday lights?
Falls are a major cause of serious injury and fatalities in the U.S. And they are ALL preventable.
For those that have never participated in the National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction it can seem a bit daunting. But, when you click the link above you will find a whole host of resources to use. Whether you are a large contractor that has employees exposed to many types of fall hazards, or a small contractor that simply works from ladders, this is a great opportunity to take the time to gather your forces and focus their attention on the specific fall hazards they face during the normal course of their work day.
Or 15… Your Stand-down doesn’t have to take hours. It really is meant to be a concentrated focus on fall hazards in the construction work place that are specific to your workers. Get them involved.
What are the hazards you see?
How can we better address those hazards?
Are the tools provided appropriate?
Maybe you provide a ladder to work from but would a one-man lift be safer? quicker?
If you work at heights, have you addressed falling objects? Do you need to look into purchasing tool lanyards.
These small questions can really help you narrow your focus and address the real concerns that your workers face every day.
As of November 10, 2018, ALL Crane Operators MUST be certified. This certification is usually done through the following organizations:
Additionally, per the final rule of the regulation, the Crane Operators must also be “evaluated by their employer” to ensure they are qualified to operate the crane to which they have been assigned. The original deadline for this evaluation process was February 7, 2019. However, according to the temporary enforcement policy for evaluation and documentation of crane operators this deadline has been extended to April 15, 2019 AS LONG AS the employer has made a good faith effort to comply.
This new deadline is for the EVALUATION process ONLY. It is not for the Required Certification.
Read here for more information regarding the Crane Operator Certification.
One additional point that needs to be clarified is for the knuckle-boom cranes that are typically used for delivery of materials (such as drywall). There are times that these fall under the crane standard… specifically, when they are holding materials in the air while the material is either being installed, unloaded, unbundled, or un-palletized. If it is simply placing the full pallet or bundle of material on a balcony or upper floor or roof, etc. then it is not covered by the crane standards. For the Letter of Interpretation regarding this specific type of equipment see here.