In the construction industry, accidental falls are the leading cause of death and injury. In fact, OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration) reported that there were 264 fall fatalities from a lower level out of the 774 total fatalities reported. It may be a scary statistic for contractors out there, but these types of falls can be prevented. Although workers compensation and contractors insurance will protect your business for the loss of wages, medical bills, and death benefits you want to protect your employees.
According to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign, there are three steps to prevent falls:
#1: Plan. If an employee will be working from heights, it is important to plan by choosing the proper safety gear, equipment and what will be needed to get the job done. Assess the situation and be prepared.
#2: Provide. You must provide protection and safety gear to your employees working from heights. This means the right type of ladders, harnesses, personal fall arrest systems, etc.
#3: Train. Make sure all of your workers are trained on equipment and understand their safety gear. If you do not train, your employees have much more of a chance to harm themselves.
Working Safely With Ladders (compliments of Erie Insurance)
Before making the climb, take a look at these basic ladder safety rules:
-Make sure the spreaders are locked open before climbing.
-Make sure nearby doors are locked or walkways barricaded to prevent collisions.
-Never overreach while working on a stepladders. Instead, move the ladder.
-Never climb above the second rung from the top.
-Always use the 4-to-1 rule: Position the base of the ladder from the wall for every 4 feet of the ladder’s height up to the support point.
Example: The base of a 16-foot ladder should be 4 feet from the wall.
-A straight ladder should extend at least 3 feet past its support point.
-Tie down your ladder as close to the support point as possible.
-Use only straight ladders that have properly functioning safety feet.
-Never climb past the third rung from the top on a straight ladder.
-Never overreach: The trunk of your body should not extend past the side of the ladder.
-Always wear slip-resistant footwear.
-Keep the ladder rungs free of oil and grease.
-Always go up and down facing the ladder, holding on with both hands.
-While working, hold on to the ladder with one hand at all times.
– Use a tool belt or a bucket attached to a hand line to pull tools up.
-Never use a metal ladder when working with electrical current.
Before Climbing any ladder, check its condition…
-Nuts and bolts tight?
-Safety feet working right?
Contractors insurance is specifically designed to cover you with liability insurance, workers compensation and much more, but applying these rules of safety in your business can prevent losses and injuries. Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable insurance agents today to see how we can offer tips, advice, and quote your business.