When it comes to safety on the job, the first thing your company should do is evaluate all job duties and be aware of the safety issues for each. This way the company addresses safety options up front instead of simply reacting to them after an accident has occurred. A job performed at heights creates added danger so at Carbis we urge each company and worker to make him/herself knowledgeable about the hierarchy of fall protection.
Fall-related incidents in the workplace may involve messy, slippery, or unstable walking and working surfaces. Add to that, holes in floors and walls, areas with unprotected edges, ladders positioned improperly and outdated fall protection and you have the perfect recipe for disaster.
The Fall Protection Hierarchy is an industry standard, sometimes referred to as Z359, and it was created to protect workers from hazards on the job.
The Fall Protection Hierarchy should be referenced when creating your company’s fall protection solutions whether they are for new or existing facilities. The hierarchy starts with the preferred scenario and works its way down to the least appealing solution.
• Elimination or Substitution – remove the hazard altogether or replace it with a safer option. Problem solved.
• Passive Fall Protection – when there is no other way to eliminate a fall danger, passive fall protection is the preferred protocol. Passive fall protection includes: handrails, guardrails, safety gates and rooftop railings.
• Fall Restraint keeps a worker restrained with a tether that is short enough to prevent the worker from reaching the fall hazard while doing his/her job. Often the restraint is a harness with a fixed length strap connected with D ring(s) and then connected to the anchor point.
• Fall Arrest is designed to bring a safe stop to a person who is falling. Obviously this is not the best choice since the worker is actually falling, but certain jobs may not allow for safer substitutions.
• Administrative Controls can reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of a worker’s exposure to hazardous situations. These include safety policies, written rules, schedules, supervision and training.
Companies create the best fall protection safety plans when they take time to thoroughly evaluate all tasks around the workplace to determine if there is any way to make job duties safer for employees. But it doesn’t end there. Where fall protection is needed, purchase the correct protection for the job then make sure all workers know how to use it properly. Follow up with proper inspections, storage and maintenance. Contact Carbis today at 800.948.7750 and we can help your company evaluate and choose the best fall prevention equipment so workers stay safe on the job.