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Compliance Assistance Resources from the US Dept. of Labor

In a news release issued January 11th, 2019 by the US Department of Labor there will be compliance assistance resources to protect workers from falls. Here is a copy of the release.

compliance assistance resources

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a collection of compliance assistance resources to address falls in the workplace, the leading cause of worker fatality in the construction industry. OSHA’s goal is to promote awareness about common fall hazards in construction, educate job creators and workers on fall prevention, and reduce the number of fall-related injuries and fatalities. These resources, which continue the goals of the Department’s Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI), encourage and facilitate compliance evaluations.

Falls can be prevented if employers plan ahead to ensure the job is done safely; provide the right equipment; and train workers to use the equipment safely. OSHA is working with industry stakeholders to provide informative compliance assistance resources.

  • The sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held May 6-10, 2019. The weeklong outreach event encourages employers and workers to pause during the workday to discuss fall hazards and how to prevent them. 
  • A series of fall safety videos show how to prevent construction-related fall hazards from floor openings, skylights, fixed scaffolds, bridge decking, reroofing, and leading edge work.
  • OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide provides a lesson plan for employers including several Toolbox Talks.
  • Fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding provide guidance on the safe use of these types of equipment while performing construction activities.
  • A brief video, 5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls, encourages employers to develop a fall prevention plan, and to provide workers with fall protection and training.

OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program provides valuable services for job creators that are separate from enforcement. OSHA recently published an analysis demonstrating how the agency’s On-Site Consultation Program contributes $1.3 billion to the national economy each year. Job creators who implement workplace improvements can reduce lost time due to injuries and illnesses, improve employee morale, increase productivity, and lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

OCI – housed within the Department of Labor’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy – fosters a compliance assistance culture within the Department designed to complement its ongoing enforcement efforts. This Office focuses on helping enforcement agencies more effectively use online resources to deliver information and compliance assistance to help the American people. In August 2018, OCI launched Worker.gov and Employer.gov to provide information about workers’ rights and the responsibilities of job creators toward their workers.

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Winter Sales Conference 2019

This week the Fall Protection Systems Sales team will be holding their annual Winter Sales Conference. During this semi annual event all of the outside territory representatives will be at the FPS headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

winter sales conference

This year’s agenda includes three days of collaboration, safety training, and new product updates for the entire team. Stay tuned for updates on all the exciting plans for the upcoming year!

Should you have any immediate fall protection needs during this three day event please contact the sales department at sales@fallprotectionsystems.com

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Fall Detection: Using New Technology

Less than six months ago Apple released the Apple Watch Series 4. This new watch uses fall detection technology to connect users to emergency services if needed.

How It Works

If the watch detects a hard fall while wearing the watch, it will tap the user on the the wrist (haptic), sound an alarm, and display an alert. From the on screen alert, the user can respond to contact emergency services, or dismiss by selecting “Close” or “I’m OK.”

fall detection

The watch has the ability to detect movement. As long as the user is moving after the fall, the operating system will no contact emergency services. However, if the user is immobile for a minute following the fall, it will make the call automatically as well as send a message to emergency contacts stored within the phone with the location of the user and that a hard fall was detected.

Learn more about the Apple Watch fall detection technology here.

Android Technology to Follow

This week Mobvoi announced that the TicWatch S2 & E2 that will feature new health and safety features. It appears that the new software will be available to all TicWatch designs, not just the S2 & E2 once released.

Similar to the Apple Watch, the new safety feature will trigger an alarm when it senses a sudden drop or fall.

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New Product: EdgeSafe Smart Gate

Improve employee and customer safety the smart way by utilizing the EdgeSafe™ Smart Gate from PS Safety Access™ in your facility. Customizable to fit your specific application, our smart gate is ideal for crowd control where forklift traffic (or other machinery traffic) is present. Start improving your walkway safety today with the EdgeSafe Smart Gate.

EdgeSafe Smart Gate

EdgeSafe Smart Gate Benefits

  • Safety That Pays – The EdgeSafe Smart Gate keeps your team safe while keeping your facility
    running efficiently
  • Flexible Sizing – Gate systems from 48″ – 108″ clear opening widths
  • Easy Operation – Counterbalanced design makes it easy for one person to operate the gate smoothly with just one hand
  • No Slamming – A unique dampening system keeps the gate from closing hard, and the damper is specially mounted high up to prevent it from becoming damaged
  • Lifts Out Of The Way – The gate lifts vertically 90 degrees (without pinch points), giving access to the restricted/protected area
  • Built To Last – Heavy-gauge steel and a powder coat yellow finish make it ideal for repetitive use
  • Ships via FedEx or UPS – Once assembled, simply bolts to existing floor or concrete

Download Materials Here

Literature

Operations Maintenance & Manual 60″

Operations Maintenance & Manual 96″

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Homemade Fall Protection Is Unsafe

Two men worked on a roof without taking the proper safety precautions and utilizing homemade fall protection. There was a photograph of Martin from Milton of Campsie and an employee working on the roof that was reported to the Glasgow Sheriff Court.

homemade fall protection

Martin had slid down a sloping roof to work at the roofs edge, while the employee held onto a piece of webbing strap that was attached to a rope which was connected to a harness worn by Mr. Martin. Neither employee was properly anchored for fall protection coverage. Furthermore, Martin was also observed throwing supplies up to the employee which created an additional drop hazard below the roof. Homemade fall protection is never a safe solution for working at heights.

Upon further investigation it was found that Inex Works had failed to ensure that the subcontractor had properly planned a safe system for working at height as well as using appropriate roof equipment. The fact that Martin wore a harness that was being held by an employee exposed them both to a risk of fall, injury, and even death.

HSE principal inspector, Graeme McMinn said: “The failures that have come to light in this case could have endangered the lives of these workers, and materials being thrown up could have fallen onto the pavement below. “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

Learn more about our easy to install low cost fall protection rooftop kits.

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Leading Edge Fall Protection Requirements

Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated work stations, or into holes in the floor or walls.  Here are specific examples of leading edge fall protection requirements for certain construction activities.

Leading Edges – 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(2)

Each worker constructing a leading edge 6 feet or more above a lower level must be protected by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(2)(i).

Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer must develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.502(k). See the section below on Fall Protection Plans.

Leading Edge Fall Protection Requirements
Workers must be protected by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems, even if they are not engaged in leading edge work, if they are on a walking or working surface that is 6 feet or more above a level where leading edges are under construction. 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(2)(ii).

 

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Fall Protection OSHA Citation

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a fall protection OSHA citation to Aspen Contracting, for a serious violation on a Fountain, Colorado job site.  The infraction was against 29CFR 1926.20(b)(2).

Fall Protection OSHA CitationAccording to OSHA, Aspen Contracting Inc., as a controlling employer is failing to conduct frequent and regular inspections of its jobsites, materials, and equipment by a competent person where its subcontractors are performing work.  The violation was observed on July 18, 2018 when a subcontractor (J Cuellar, LLC) were performing roof work without fall protection.  Aspen Contracting failed to ensure that frequent and regular inspections took place at this jobsite.

The serious fall protection OSHA citation was accompanied by a fine of $12,195.  Aspen Contracting has until January 10th 2019 to abate the violation.  Abatement requires corrective action and documentation that frequent and regular inspections are being conducted by a competent person at job sites to ensure subcontracted employees are not exposed to hazardous conditions and fall hazards.

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Ladder Falls Can Kill: Part 2

As previously discussed in Ladder Falls Can Kill: Part 1 proper ladder safety can prevent ladder falls and even death.  Part 2 of this series will identify inspection, maintenance and proper storage of ladders, workers rights, and OSHA assistance/services/programs.

Check, Maintain and Store Ladders Properly

Before using a ladder, check it carefully to ensure there are no visible defects and that it is in good working condition. Check the ladder according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Maintain and store the ladder according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Do not use faulty ladders such as these.

ladder falls can kill

Do not use a ladder if it is bent, missing a step, or if the spread bars do not have a locking device or mechanism.

Workers Rights

According to OSHA workers have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA.  If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

Assistance, Services and Programs

OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under OSHA law.  Several OSHA programs and services can help employers identify and correct job hazards, as well as improve their safety and health program.

Establishing a Safety & Health Program

Safety and health programs are systems that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses, while reducing costs to employers.

Compliance Assistance Specialists

OSHA Compliance assistance specialists can provide information to employers and workers about OSHA standards, short educational programs on specific hazards or OSHA rights and responsibilities, and information on additional compliance assistance resources.

Fall Protection Systems No Obligation Onsite Analysis

FPS offers a no cost, no obligation onsite analysis to help ensure worker safety while working at heights.  Contact us at 888-596-5367 to learn more about our services and products available.

 

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Ladder Falls Can Kill: Part 1

Proper ladder safety can prevent ladder falls and even death.  Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and every year falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. These deaths are preventable. Falls from ladders can be prevented and lives can be saved by following the safe work practices.

When Should You Use a Ladder?

When you want to reach a higher work area, think about the best equipment to use.  While a ladder or stepladder is commonly used, it may not always be the best option. Ask yourself these questions before deciding on a ladder:

  • Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
  • Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
  • Will I be working from this height for a long time?
  • Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?

If your answer is yes to one of the above questions, consider using something other than a ladder. If possible, bring in other equipment like a scissor lift. If you have to use a ladder, use one that has a working platform with handrail barricades on the sides (e.g., a platform stepladder).

ladder falls

Use the right ladder for the job. For example, ensure the ladder is high enough for you to reach your work area without having to stand on the top rung.

ladder falls 02

When using ladders to access another level, secure and extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the landing point to provide a safe hand hold.

The base of the ladder should be secured and the user should be wearing proper footwear (non-slip flat shoes).

Place the ladder on stable and level ground.  DO NOT place it on an uneven surface and ensure that the ladder is fully extended before starting work.

Prevent passersby from walking under or near ladders in use by using barriers (cones) or using a coworker as a lookout.

Do not work on the top rung of the ladder.

ladder falls 03

Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times and do not carry tools or materials in your hands while climbing the ladder.

Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out your task.  Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.

Do not use ladders near doorways.  In the event that you must place it near a doorway, make sure the door is locked.

 

Download the full OSHA Stepladder Guide Here.

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Product Highlight Roofer Fall Protection Kit

Product highlight roofer fall protection kit from DBI Sala.  Compliance in a Can™ is often imitated, but never matched. Protecta® pioneered the creation of a complete fall protection system available in a convenient container. The success of the original “can” spawned the creation of several variations with different anchorage devices and a light series. The light series includes a harness and some type of shock absorbing lanyard. This approach to fall protection simplifies the buying decision and makes choosing the correct system simple, fast and safe. Our easy to use kits provide the perfect solution and are legendary for their performance, value, quality and safety.

Product Highlight Roofer Fall Protection Kit

All purpose fall protection kit includes 1191995 FIRST™ harness, 1341001 PRO™ 6 ft. (1.8m) single-leg shock absorbing lanyard and carrying bag.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Complete all purpose fall protection system in one handy container
  • Lightweight FIRST™ harness with pass-thru buckle legs and 5-point adjustment (model 1191995)
  • PRO™ 6 ft. (1.8m) single-leg shock absorbing lanyard (model 1341001)
  • Durable nylon carrying bag with handles
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