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April 18, 2011

SAFETY TIP: Fall Prevention and Protection

Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Here are some tips to help prevent employees from being injured from falls:
  • Conduct general fall prevention training on a regular basis.
  • Train workers about the specific fall hazards identified at your site and the required personal protective equipment.
  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk by use of a railing and toeboard or a floor hole cover, including shafts, riser penetrations and skylights.
  • Provide a guardrail and toeboard around every open-sided platform, floor or runway that is 4 feet or higher off the ground or next level.
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt), employers must provide guardrails and toeboards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
  • Other means of fall protection that may be required include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.
  • Conduct regular inspections of fall protection equipment in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations and OSHA requirements.
OSHA requires employers to:
  • Provide working conditions that have no known dangers.
  • Keep floors in work areas in a clean and sanitary condition.
  • Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
  • Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.
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