Safeguarding against slips, trips and falls is a common an issue for almost every company.
Having a good fall protection plan is important, particularly considering the frequency and costs of these kinds of accidents. According to the Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls account for around one-fourth of on-the-job injury claims each year.
The importance of a fall protection audit
Employers need to regularly survey their facilities and take any hazards they find into account. This assessment should also look at any measures used to protect workers from falls, such as safety harnesses and handrails. Any new additions or modifications to existing workflows should also be a safety priority: A slight change in how workers handle a task might be considerably more efficient, but also increase the chance of a fall.
Worker training is another fundamental consideration, and one that also must be frequently audited. Comprehensive safety training should include everything from describing hazards to how protection systems should be used to correct equipment examination and maintenance. New workers have to be trained before they undertake any tasks at dangerous heights. Periodic training for existing staff members can help make sure they stay as safe year after year.
Fall protection involves a great deal of ever-shifting components and a regular dedication to training staff and inspecting work areas. However, this kind of proactive approach can keep employees safer and the company in compliance with OSHA’s fall protection guidelines.
Identifying ‘bad housekeeping’ practices
An audit can be particularly effective in identifying safety-related issues that fly under the radar. One such issue is bad housekeeping – leaving messes and materials out in open spaces where they can be trip hazards.
Good housekeeping involves planning ahead: Knowing whose responsibility it is to maintain a clear work space and how it should be done. While personal responsibility should be a strong motivating factor here, it might make sense to have an assigned, possibly rotating, clean-up person or persons.
Spotting slippery surfaces
Parking lots, walkways, tile floors and other surfaces can be extremely slippery, particularly when icy or wet. To identify slippery surfaces, a fall audit should be conducted throughout the year and at various times of day. A surface might be fine in the morning, but extremely slick in the afternoon.
Asking employees about slippery surfaces should also be part of a fall audit since they have intimate knowledge about the walking surfaces around them.
Addressing bad lighting
Bad lighting is another fall hazard that can go unaddressed for a long time. An audit can identify light fixtures that need to be clean or replaced, light switches that should be fixed and dark areas of a facility that could conceal trip hazards.
At NSC Technologies, we support all employee safety initiatives of our clients. If your company is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner, please contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance.