My Career Was Ended In Less Than A Second
In this hotly debated election year, you’ve surely heard at least one politician promising to bring back American manufacturing jobs. Over the last decades most of these jobs went overseas, but now it appears that American factories might be making a comeback. With the resurgence in factory and other manufacturing jobs comes an increased need for industrial safety awareness and equipment.
Some of the most high-risk industrial jobs are ones that involve heights. Workers who must work in positions that are six feet or more above ground level are at risk for serious injury or death if they happen to fall while working. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, lifting chains, and safety gear. Without fall arrest and/or other types of safety equipment, a person can fall up to seven feet in just two-thirds of a second. Very few individuals, if any, have the kind of reaction needed to assist in such a scenario. Thus, the need for preventative safety equipment is essential.
OSHA uses a three step process to prevent dangerous falls and save lives. The steps are: plan, provide, and train. Planning involves locating and assessing all high-elevation work areas at a job site. Providing means ensuring that lifting chains, rigging equipment, wire rope slings, or other types of fall assist safety equipment are present. All safety equipment must be tested regularly according to federal and local regulations. Check with your local OSHA chapter to determine your necessary testing schedule. According to OSHA, during the testing of all fall arrest systems, a test weight of 300 pounds (plus or minus 5 pounds) should be used in order to simulate the weight of actual workers. Fall protection courses are available in most areas through OSHA or other work safety organizations.
It only takes a second (or less!) for a fall to bring an early end to a worker’s career. With manufacturing jobs coming back to U.S. shores, it’s imperative that all manufacturing workers be trained in fall safety and prevention. Even simple equipment such as lifting chains are all it takes to save a worker’s life in some situations. If you work an light or heavy industry, don’t let a fall bring your career or your factory to a standstill. Great references here.