Each year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases the Top 10 Most Cited Violations of safety and health standards, and in this article series we are discussing the third most cited violation: fall protection. The previous two articles in this series were about respiratory protection and the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout-Tagout) regulation.
The scaffolding standard provides guidance on preventing falls, and not just from supported scaffolds rising from the ground. The standard includes everything from the hanging scaffolds used by window washers to scissor lifts and aerial lifts.
In 2018, the main citation of this standard was for violations of the very basic requirement that employees are protected from falling, section 1926.451(g)(1). If you've got an employee working more than 10 feet above a lower level, they could be seriously injured or killed if they fall. Therefore, they need fall protection provided by guardrails or a fall arrest system. If you’ve got employees working on either a single-point or two-point suspension scaffold, both types of fall protection are required.
The second most cited violation of this standard was 1926.451(e)(1), which prohibits the use of cross braces for access to scaffold platforms. Instead, when the platform is more than two feet above or below a place of access, there should be a ladder, stairway, stair tower, ramp or walk, or an integrated prefabricated frame that employees can use to access the platform.
The majority of scaffold accidents on the construction site are caused by falls, slipping or being struck by an object from above. All of these accidents can be prevented by taking the proper precautions.
To help protect against potentially deadly falls, fall protection is needed when working six feet or more above a lower level, and consists of either a personal fall arrest system or guardrail systems, depending on the job. If using a fall arrest system, keep the following in mind:
For more information about OSHA citations or workplace safety, please contact us.
Jim assists client with identifying and mitigating risk and implementing comprehensive loss prevention programs. He began his career as an occupational health nurse and quickly transitioned into managing occupational safety and health services.
Jim assists client with identifying and mitigating risk and implementing comprehensive loss prevention programs. He began his career as an occupational health nurse and quickly transitioned into managing occupational safety and health services. He worked for divisions of two Fortune 500 Companies, PPG Industries, Inc. and Rockwell Automation (Allen Bradley). He was responsible for general safety, OSHA compliance, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, industrial security and emergency response.
If you could give human form to your safety culture, what would it look like?
Maybe it would be a thick-set, shirtless brute named Trog with a foul disposition beating out a drum cadence to keep your employees rowing in-sync.
Or would it be more like a fussy and constantly disapproving Dickensian paper-pusher named Fizzlewhite who has never met a rule or procedure he didn’t like, even though he hasn’t done most of the things he creates rules to address?
If you were to search the various “mommy blogs” and parenting advice websites out there, how many of them do you think would endorse the following practice?
A child’s safety should always be a top priority for any parent. When leaving children under the age of 10 alone in the house for lengthy periods of time, be sure to provide the kids with a loaded pistol with the safety off in case a stranger should happen by. In a pinch, recently sharpened knives can be substituted for the pistol.
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