Structural equipment, made to fit certain job tasks and particular OSHA guidelines, is what allows workers to safely perform their job. This equipment is termed fall prevention and works as “gravity resistance” to keep workers from falling to their death.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that falls are one of the leading causes of death on the job. An OSHA study centering on 99 fall-related fatalities suggests that each of these deaths could have been prevented if the workers were using proper fall protection. Fall prevention and protection can include any number of things: guardrails, cages, loading arms, non-slip surfaces and more. Ideally all falls could be prevented if the tools used fit the job and provided accurate protection. The emphasis must be on prevention. Therefore it is mandatory that companies evaluate worker tasks to determine the best fall prevention for each job.
Per OSHA guidelines, an employee in the construction industry must be protected from falling when he/she is working on a surface with an unprotected edge or side that is six or more feet above an adjacent lower level.
There is a variety of equipment that falls under the term “structural”. It includes canopies, catwalks, pipe racks, platforms and stair towers. Come back tomorrow for more on this topic.