Workplace safety is an important consideration in industries like construction and material handling, where workers are in close proximity with heavy machinery and moving parts. The three-step process recommended by the Occupational Safety and Hazards Administration or OSHA, plan, prepare and train, covers all aspects workplace safety. Since the OSHA regulations were adopted in the 1970s, workplace safety has improved.
Workplace safety is three-step process
Federal regulations drawn up by the OSHA are applicable to workplace safety. They recommend a three-part process of plan, provide and train, which has been highly effective in reducing workplace accidents. Between 1972 and 2011, workplace injuries and illness are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers to 3.4 per 100 workers.
But even a single accident is one too many, and it is important that all workers have the necessary training and equipment to work safely in important and dangerous industries like construction, warehousing, maritime and material handling. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers have the necessary supplies and fall protection equipment to do their jobs safely.
Fall protection in various industries
For workers in various industries who have to operate above the floor level, OSHA regulations require employers to provide fall protection equipment and training. Workers should also have all necessary supplies like ladders, scaffolds and safety gear.
According to OSHA regulations, fall protection must be provided in general industry workplaces for workers operating at heights of four feet above the floor level. For shipyards, the height above which protection must be provide is five feet; for construction, it is six feet and for longshoring operations, protection must be provided workers at a height of eight feet or more.
Fall protection systems provide general safety
Fall protection systems can provide personal fall protection, like slings, or general fall arrest, like safety nets and scaffolding. Safety nets can be used in addition to individual protection when the fall distance is greater than 25 feet, and where there are no scaffolds or temporary floors.
All fall arrest systems should be tested regularly to ensure that they are in working condition. Someone’s life may depend on it.
Slings for personal safety
Slings provide individual fall protection, in addition to general fall protection systems like safety nets and temporary floors. They should be tested and inspected regularly, at least once a year with normal use. With exceptionally heavy use, slings should be tested quarterly or even monthly.
Industries like longshoring, construction, and material handling require difficult and dangerous work. Following workplace safety regulations can save lives and reduce the number of accidents.