Thankfully, your husband pays nearly as close attention to fall protection on projects at home as he does at work. Otherwise, you would have been a nervous wreck during this last project.
In an effort to make room for a third car in your garage, your husband built a large storage shelf above the double garage door. A few years ago he built a similar, but smaller, shelf above the single garage door. As you add your youngest daughter to the list of drivers in your home, however, the storage space is at a premium. In hindsight, you realize that your husband spent nearly as much time preparing a fall protection plan as he did in assembling the shelf. His attention to the details of being safe meant that when the ladder slipped out from underneath him just as he was finishing the construction of the long shelf, he really was in no danger. As an additional safety measure, he had kept his promise and only worked on the tall ladder when someone else was home. Within a few minutes of the ladder slipping, you had heard him call for help and you were quickly able to fix the problem.
It was anything but funny at the time, but after the fact, you can both smile, about his attention to detail. In fact, several neighbors have since asked for advice about how to stay safe when they are completing similar projects. With all of the talk of hook rigging and the basics of a fall protection systems, in fact, you wonder if your friends and family are also safer now when they are at work. To your husband, these precautions seem like basic common sense, but for his new fan base, his suggestions seem brilliant.
Work Sites Must Follow Strict OSHA Regulations and Safety and Training Plans
It might seem a little over the top the way some home owners set out to protect themselves from falls and other accidents at home, but if you work on a job site that involves working at various heights and the use of heavy equipment it probably seems foolish to not make use of the safety tips that you learn while you are on the job. Consider some of these facts and figures about how Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, provides specific directions for fall protection and the use of specific equipment like wire rope slings and other safety measures:
- Keeping workers safe and limiting injuries on the job is in everyone’s best interest.
- Endless, single, two, three, or four leg are all types of slings.
- Estimates indicate that worker injuries and illnesses are decreasing. Statistics show that while there were 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972, that number dropped to 3.4 per 100 in 2011.
- Plan, provide, and train are the three steps in the OSHA process designed to prevent dangerous falls and save lives.
- Inspections for slings used for normal service should be done yearly for normal service use, and monthly to quarterly for severe service use.
- No accident is a good accident.
- General fall arrest, like nets, and personal fall arrest, like lifelines, are the two fall arrest types.
- If workers are six feet or more above lower levels they are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers are required to provide the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear, as well as fall protection.
- Tags and labels are now OSHA required on all wire rope slings. In the past, companies were not required to permanently label these wire rope slings, but those have been updated.
- Safety nets can be used to lesson the fall exposure when fall distance exceeds 25 feet and employees are working where temporary floors and scaffolds are not used.
- According to OSHA, a test weight of 300 pounds, plus or minus five pounds, should be used during the testing of fall arrest systems.
- Federal OSHA limits the fall or arrest distance to six feet; very few exceptions to this rule are allowed.
- Evidence indicates that without fall arrest and/or safety equipment, a person can fall up to seven feet in two-thirds of a second.