OSHA Cites 2017 Workplace Fall Hazards As Leading Cause of Deaths & Injuries

2018 Fall Hazard Prevention in the Workplace by W.W. Cannon in Dallas TXAccording to OSHA, fall hazards were the 2017 leading cause of worker deaths and lost-workday injuries.

4th Qtr in 2017, OSHA announced its Top 10 Safety Violations.  The list identifies top workplace safety issue violations cited from Oct 1, 2016 to Sep 30, 2017.  For the 6th year in a row, Fall Protection violations have been at the top of the list.  Falls are #1 on the list again in 2017 with more than 6000 citations issued for slips, trips and fall hazards.  According to OSHA, falls were the 2017 leading cause of worker deaths and lost-workday injuries!  Sounds like a growing problem.

New to the 2017 top 10 safety violations list were citations for Fall Protection Training.  This includes failure to train workers on the following:

  • Fall and equipment hazards
  • Fall protection equipment use
  • Fall protection equipment maintenance

Most of the citations are a direct result of OSHA’s recently issued Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards put into effect in 2017.  This required companies to perform work environment safety inspections, provide updated fall protection equipment as well as thorough fall protection training.

This updated standard seeks to protect modern workers in evolving work environments.  OSHA’s final rule:

  • Eliminates the hazard of workers climbing extended heights on fixed ladders without fall protection by phasing out the use of qualified climbers in outdoor advertising
  • Phases in a requirement that fixed ladders (over 24 feet) be equipped with ladder safety or personal fall protection systems to prevent workers from falling or arresting their fall before contact with a lower level
  • Provides performance criteria for personal fall protection equipment in general industry, similar to the criteria that have been in OSHA’s construction industry rules since 1994
  • Requires the use of body harnesses, and prohibits body belts, in personal fall arrest systems to distribute fall arrest forces over a larger area of a worker’s body
  • Requires workers who use personal fall protection and other equipment the standard covers be trained, and retrained as necessary, in fall and equipment hazards before they work at elevated heights or use that equipment, including fall protection systems
  • Read more on OSHA’s Fall Protection Final Rule FAQs

So What Do You Need To Do?

Out with the old and in with the new – let’s go into 2018 with purpose and prevention.

  1. If your fall equipment is outdated or you’re wondering if it’s something you need in order to protect your employees, set up a complimentary workplace safety inspection today. We specialize in fall protection systems and workplace safety – we’ll help you find a cost-effective plan to keep your workers safe while complying with OSHA and best-practice safety standards.
  2.  Fall protection systems are not a DIY project.  In order to ensure compliance with safety regulations, qualified and trained installation technicians are needed. Our technicians and installation crews service and install fall protection systems all day long – it’s what we do.  You can rest assured that the equipment will be installed correctly, safely – the first time.
  3. Once your Fall Arrest System has been inspected and/or updated to ensure compliancy, proper equipment training must be provided for all designated employees and documented.  No need to worry. Our specialists will provide all the training and documentation you need for any Fall Protection Harness Systems we provide.  If you require retraining, we take care of that too. Preview one of our training videos by fall protection specialist and Warehouse Lifeguard, Doug HutchinsFall Protection Training Video.

Given the rise of Fall Protection safety violations, it’s become a high priority for OSHA in 2018.  We all know this will most likely lead to new standards in 2018 which compel companies to comply with safer work equipment and practices.  Please contact us with any questions you may have on workplace safety and compliance with standards.  That’s what we’re here for, to help you get what you need.

Read our case study about how we helped our friends at an RV Service Center protect their employees with best-practice fall protection system.

Contact us today!

We can assist you in achieving your safety goals by finding the best-practice solution for you.  Call us at 1-800-442-3061 to set up an appointment.

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