Fall prevention often means the difference between life and death. Hundreds of people die from falls on the job every year. While you want to protect your workforce, you may not know where to start.
A comprehensive fall prevention program includes these three pillars:
- Planning to work safely
- Providing fall prevention equipment
- Training workers to use equipment safely
If you’re assessing your workplace risks, speaking with a safety expert and purchasing the right fall prevention equipment for your site, you’ve already started working on the “planning” and “providing” pillars. But what about the last, critical piece?
Before you can implement an appropriate fall prevention training program, you must understand the difference between fall prevention and fall protection.
Fall protection is a backup system for someone who may lose balance in a dangerous area. The purpose is usually to arrest a fall and mitigate the risk of injury. On the other hand, fall prevention is used to keep a person from falling in the first place.
At your truck loading facility, you may have fall prevention equipment such as loading racks or flatbed tarping platforms. Your specific equipment will depend on your site specifications.
Why You Need Fall Prevention Training
Fall prevention training ensures your workers follow safety guidelines that minimize their risk of falling from truck loading platforms and other elevated places. For example, workers should learn to follow these rules:
- Clean up puddles and spills to avoid slips
- Wear slip-resistant footwear
- Tag and don’t use damaged equipment
- Climb only on ladders, stairs and ramps
Not all fall prevention equipment is static like a guardrail or platform. Many types are moveable, and moving these safety systems into place is sometimes a challenge. However, it’s imperative that workers master the skill.
Improper fall prevention equipment placement causes gaps between your trucks and safety equipment, meaning workers could potentially fall through the spaces. Employees may even damage equipment if they don’t use it correctly, causing failure at critical times.
How To Prepare Workers For Safety Training
Safety training requires preparation on your part and the desire to promote a safer workplace. Employees must understand why the safe practices are in place so they follow them.
Begin by giving an example of an accident that may happen if a worker isn’t following fall prevention guidelines or using safety equipment properly. Then, ask employees to point out areas of your job site where similar incidents may occur.
You can also ask if workers have any personal experience with falls or near-falls. Don’t forget to invite questions. Once workers understand how training is relevant to their job, they will be better prepared to master new fall prevention systems.
Fall prevention training ensures everyone at your company is on the same page and has the necessary knowledge to do their jobs safely. However, even with training you must have the right fall prevention equipment for your site. Ask a safety expert to analyze your facility, processes and risks to recommend the ideal equipment for your requirements.
Are you concerned you’re not protecting workers against safety risks at your facility? Evaluate how safe your site is by answering 10 questions.