(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

How can I protect myself from fall hazards?

1. Use fall protection equipment. On a construction site, there are three generally acceptable methods of protection for workers who are exposed to vertical drops of 6 feet or more.

1.1 Guardrails are considered prevention systems, as they stop you from having a fall in the first place.

1.2 Safety net systems are designed to catch you and break your fall. They must be placed as close as practicable under your working surface, but never more than 30 feet below.

1.3 A personal fall arrest system consists of an anchorage, connectors, and a full-body harness that work together to break your fall.

In general, it is better to use fall prevention systems, such as guardrails, than fall protection systems, such as safety nets/fall arrest devices, because prevention systems provide more positive safety means.

2. Safe ladder use. Ladders are one of the most common pieces of equipment on a construction site. Using ladders more safely is one way to start preventing falls at the work site. There are many ways you can prevent a fall from a ladder. Here are just three suggestions to get you started.

2.1 Choose the right ladder for the job. There are three main types of ladders (step ladders, straight ladders, and extension ladders) used in different situations for different tasks. Before you start using a ladder, ask yourself two questions.

Is the ladder long enough?  It should be long enough for you to set it at a stable angle and still extend at the top to give you something to hold on to.  Make sure the ladder extends 3 feet (3 rungs; 0.9 meters) above the surface you will be working on. Make sure the ladder is placed at a stable angle. For every four feet (1.2 m) high the ladder is, the base should be 1 foot (.3 m) out from the wall.

Is the ladder in good working condition? It shouldn’t be missing pieces or be cracked or otherwise damaged. Check the duty rating on extension ladders. Longer ladders don’t always have higher duty ratings, so be sure to check.

2.2 Tie the top and bottom of the ladder to fixed points when necessary. Securing the ladder in this way prevents the ladder from sliding side-to-side or falling backwards and prevents the base from sliding.

Tying the ladder off at the beginning of the day and untying it at the end will only take about 5 minutes. It can make all the difference for your safety.

2.3 Don’t carry tools or other materials in-hand while climbing the ladder. Instead of carrying tools, boards, or other materials in your hands, use a tool belt, install a rope and pulley system, or tie a rope around your materials and pull them up once you have reached the work surface.  Carrying tools or anything else in your hands as you climb the ladder can throw you off balance. When you climb a ladder, always use at least one hand to grasp the ladder (3-Point Rule) when going up or down.

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part III) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Caught–In or –Between Hazards

(Part III) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Caught–In or –Between Hazards

(Part IV) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Electrocution Hazards

(Part IV) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Electrocution Hazards

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Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR