Preventing falls in the workplace

Posted in Business

If you're doing nothing to prevent accidents, the inevitable will happen. Don’t let an unnecessary serious accident happen to one of your employees. Taking the time to conduct regular safety meetings and enforcing safety procedures can reduce costly injuries and the worker's compensation claims associated with them. Maintaining a safe workplace could also lead to reduced insurance premiums for your business.

Here are some tips to help you and your employees avoid some of the most common — and costly — workplace accidents.

Planning and training

  • Develop and implement a written slips, trips and falls protection program as part of your safety policy
  • Train all employees on safety hazards and controls
  • Plan ahead to get the job done safely
  • Provide the right equipment for the job at hand, such as the most appropriate ladder or scaffolding equipment, and the proper roof equipment

Preventing falls from roofs

  • Make sure employees wear harnesses and always stay connected
  • Make sure harnesses fit properly
  • Use guardrails or lifelines while working
  • Inspect all fall protection equipment before use to ensure it's operating safely

Preventing falls from ladders

  • Choose the right ladder for the job. For example, make sure the ladder is high enough for you to reach your work area without having to stand on the top rung
  • Maintain three points of contact
  • Make sure the base of the ladder is secure
  • Always face the ladder, not away from it
  • Never work on the top rung of the ladder
  • Place the ladder on stable and level ground. DO NOT place it on an uneven surface
  • Ladders should be in good condition and examined regularly for defects.
  • Have a management system in place to ensure that this is done
  • The ladder should be angled to minimize the risk of slipping outwards

Preventing falls from scaffolds

  • Use fully planked scaffolds
  • Ensure proper access to the scaffold
  • Plumb and level the scaffold before using it
  • Complete all guardrails
  • Ensure stable footing
  • Inspect before use (by competent person)

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