Falls lead the reports of accidents on construction sites despite multiple regulations and safety rules in place to prevent them. It takes a team to ensure that everyone on a site remains safe, but it is obvious that there is still work to do.
The Industrial Safety & Hygiene News explains that when putting safety measures into place, it needs to happen before the project begins, and they must remain until it is complete for full protection.
On every site where there may be a fall risk, the individual hazardous areas should have guardrail and safety net systems in place. These are primary protective measures and are the first line of defense against an employee who may somehow leave the edge of a platform or area that is off the ground. It is essential that managers recognize hazards and properly identify the need for these systems. Mistakes or oversights are a common reason for a lack of safety systems that allow falls to occur.
Employees also share some of the responsibility to protect themselves from falls. Personal fall arrest systems are a must for employees working at any height off the ground. The lack of access to these systems is a common issue, but more often, employees simply fail to use them. Employers should mandate use and ensure every employee has access to them.
Falls remain a top risk at construction work sites because of many reasons. But the most common problem is a lack of awareness of the need for protection, which may be due to overlooking risks or simply ignoring them.