We’ve all stumbled, tripped, and fallen before. One minute, we’re thinking of something else or not looking at where we’re going, and the next we have a bruised shin thanks to an uneven surface, staircase, or patch of ice. When it comes to falls from significant heights—which construction, transportation, healthcare support, cleaning, and maintenance workers are particularly vulnerable to—the risks are much greater. Hazards combined with complex activities and heights can mean accidents for workers.
Slips, trips, and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They’re the second-leading cause of death behind motor vehicles and account for roughly a quarter of all reported injury claims. Employees lose days of work and employers need to pay for compensation and medical costs for those injuries. Successfully reducing the number of injuries and fatalities related to falls requires employers to make safety plans and ensure that employees get compliant, well-maintained safety gear for the job at hand.
We’re having a Fall Prevention Awareness Week Sale, so it’s the perfect time to protect your employees by picking up some reduced-cost gear, looking at your applicable safety standards, and making sure that everyone is up to date on their hazard training. Check out PK Safety’s tips for preventing workplace falls, a few of our favorite fall prevention products, and a discount code to help you get stocked with new safety gear.
Your first priority on any worksite should be the elimination of as many fall hazards as possible by assessing the location. Go through your worksite with a foreman to identify any hazards on the worksite and the kind of equipment best suited for the job. Keep all work areas well-lit and allow for time to clean up areas like aisles, corridors, entrances, and stairwells to keep them orderly and free of obstructions. Make sure to periodically check on the areas so that they stay clear as well. For outdoor spaces, ensure that there’s a way to provide traction through maintenance or treatment; for indoor spaces, make sure that outdoor moisture and debris can’t come in, use proper rugs or mats, and clean up messes as soon as possible.
While you’re looking around your worksite, think about how your equipment will be effective there. Do you need short-term but secure fall protection that a Retractable Horizontal Lifeline System could provide? Will your workers be climbing a lot and need a Petzl ALVEO VENT Ventilated Climbers Helmet Hard Hat?
A durable SRL system that can stand up to impacts and sharp edges can be found in the DBI-SALA Nano-Lok Edge Twin Leading Edge SRL, giving you and your workers peace of mind and worksite safety. If your worksite is at height but you’re working in cold conditions, the Petzl VERTEX BEST Climbing & Work Helmet/Hard Hat provides skull protection, secure straps, and an unvented design to protect against electrical risks, molten materials, and colder worksites. If you need the ventilation to stay cool but are interested in protection from sun, glare, weather, and falling debris, the JSP Evolution Deluxe 6161 Vented Full Brim Hard Hat might be a better fit.
Preventing falls is also a matter of taking a look at work processes. If you don’t already have worksite safety check-up procedures as part of your daily routine, it’s important to start implementing and documenting a safety program. It’s possible that you’ll have to assign specific people or groups to particular tasks and hold everyone accountable for their own behavior. Employees should be trained on fall prevention equipment, inspection, and precautions. Make judgment calls on who can operate equipment safely, who your lead workers should be, and keeping your employees accountable for when guidelines and rules are ignored. Begin each day by discussing the tasks, tools, hazards, and strategies for safely getting through the workday. Also make sure that when new regulations are announced that work processes are introduced or updated to reflect that and that workers are trained on these processes.
The French Creek 7’ Tripod and its accessories are a good fit for rescuing workers and preventing falls. It’s light, easy to set up, and allows workers to easily be raised or lowered to safety. The DBI-SALA Force2 Shock Absorbing Lanyard is another piece of equipment that’s built to last and arrest falls, and it includes impact indicators to let you and your workers know when it’s time to replace it.
No matter how prepared you or your employees are, accidents can happen. Investing in the proper equipment for your industry and job and making sure that it gets used properly is a crucial part of preventing accidents. Fall prevention equipment is necessary for any employees that are working six or more feet above a lower level—two-fifths of fatal falls happen from fifteen feet or lower—and this equipment should be thoroughly inspected before each use. If the parts are worn out or broken, or the equipment is obviously old, it needs to be replaced.
Luckily for you, we have professional fall prevention equipment for every industry and compliance standard. The Kask Super Plasma Rescue Helmet is a lightweight, comfortable, and well-ventilated addition to at heights PPE. We also have a variety of harnesses with different features to suit any worker: the Petzl AVAO BOD Full Body Harness, DBI-SALA ExoFit NEX Vest Style Fall Protection Harness, and Miller Revolution Contractor Harness are all excellent options. For a complete package, the Protecta Harness and Lanyard Combo comes with a bag that can keep the harness and lanyard safe from the elements, extending its life and keeping workers safe from falls for longer.
Fall prevention comes down to a conscientious employer, a culture of workplace safety, and working PPE, and PK Safety can help you with the gear. For this week only, take $15 off and free shipping on orders over $149 when you use the code STOPFALLS18 at checkout. This is the perfect time to purchase new fall prevention equipment or replace worn-out pieces to ensure that your workers’ risk of injury on the job is minimized. For more information about any of our fall prevention equipment, or if you have any questions about worksite safety, get in touch with one of our experts online or by phone at 800.829.9580.