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Category Archives: Fall Protection

Fall Protection blog pages and articles dealing with all types of fall protection

Proper Safety Harness Cleaning & Inspection

Inspection and maintenance of fall protection equipment is essential. A worker’s full body safety harness is an integral element of his or her fall protection system and should be inspected for signs of wear or damage prior to each use.

Here is an instructional video address proper safety harness inspection.

Safety Harness Cleaning

But what about cleaning? Like any piece of equipment, a safety harness can and should be cleaned, especially if it regularly contacts any substance that can cause wear or sub-optimal functioning (abrasives, corrosives, oils). During a thorough cleaning is also a good time to inspect the harness for damage to the webbing and hardware.

So what is the best way to clean your safety harness? The process is actually quite simple and relies on basic common sense, but there are a few cautions to keep in mind:

  • It is best to begin with the harness on a flat surface, leaving open to visible inspection.
  • Using a moist sponge, wipe down the harness to remove excess dirt and dust.
  • Mix a cleaning solution using laundry detergent or dish soap. DO …
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Cal/OSHA Fall Protection Requirements

In California, the Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) is known as Cal/OSHA. This department protects and improves the health and safety of workers in California. Here are the Cal/OSHA fall protection requirements.

Falls are among the most common reasons for workplace injuries and fatalities in California. Falls generally occur when employees are working at an elevated height and are not adequately protected. Some examples include employees working on elevated work surfaces, ladders, stairs, scaffolds, aerial devices, roofs, bridges, trusses, beams, purlins, plates, suspended staging, catwalks and walkways.

Falls in construction frequently involve slippery, cluttered, or unstable walking/working surfaces, unprotected edges, floor holes or wall openings, unsafely positioned ladders, and misuse of fall protection devices.

Key Cal/OSHA Fall Protection Requirements

Title 8 of California Code of Regulations (T8 CCR) specifies many requirements for fall protection in construction. Below are selected regulations that contain fall protection requirements. Refer to T8 CCR for the complete set of requirements.

Download the full fact sheet.


Ladder Fall Fatality

A ladder fall fatality occurred after a fall from 10 feet on a ladder resulted in blunt force head and torso injuries. The accident happened in August of 2017 at a private residence construction site with a two 16 ft aluminum ladders.

The first ladder was used to access the roof of the porch. The second ladder was set up from the porch roof to the house roof. One worker held the base of the ladder while the second worker accessed the rooftop. While descending down the ladder from the roof, the base of the ladder moved and struck the employee holding it in place. As a result both employees and the ladder fell from the porch roof, just over 10 feet. One employee was uninjured, and the other employee lost his life.

The lack of hazard recognition and safety training was found to be the contributing factor of this accident upon investigation. Additionally, there was no adequate fall protection equipment being used.

Employees are required to have OSHA approved fall protection while working at heights greater than 6 …
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Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. These personal protective equipment guidelines are provided by OSHA. Their role is to promote the safety and health of America’s working men and women.

Personal Protective Equipment Requirements

To ensure the greatest possible protection for employees in the workplace, the cooperative efforts of both employers and employees will help in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthful work environment. In general, employers are responsible for:

  • Performing a “hazard assessment” of the workplace to identify and control physical and health hazards.
  • Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees. n Training employees in the use and care of the PPE.
  • Maintaining PPE, including replacing worn or damaged PPE.
  • Periodically reviewing, updating and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program. In general, employees should:
  • Properly wear PPE, n Attend training sessions on PPE,
  • Care for, clean and maintain PPE, and
  • Inform a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE.

Specific requirements for PPE are presented in many different OSHA standards, published in 29 CFR.

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OSHA Funding Increase for 2020

In Washington last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill for a significant OSHA funding increase for 2020. With an allocation of $660.9 million for OSHA there is an increase of over $103 million more than what was proposed and overall $300,00 more than the 2019 approved budget.

The Department of Labor wants to “maximize flexibility and use alternative methods to develop and distribute training materials to reach the broadest possible audience” in lieu of the grants, the department’s budget summary states.

OSHA has a record low of 875 compliance safety & health officers presently. The largest increase of funds to the budget will be allocated to federal enforcement. As reported earlier this spring, more inspections and enforcement from OSHA can be expected in 2020.

View the full bill here.


OSHA Worker Safety Grant

Last week an OSHA Worker Safety Grant for $10.5 million, the Susan Harwood Training Grant, was available. Eligibility is reserved for nonprofit organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes as well as universities and colleges.

Grants are available in three areas: Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and Capacity Building. 

  • Targeted Topic Training grants support educational programs that address identifying and preventing workplace hazards. These grants require applicants to conduct training on OSHA-designated workplace safety and health hazards. 
  • Training and Educational Materials Development grants support the development of quality classroom-ready training and educational materials that focus on identifying and preventing workplace hazards. 
  • Capacity Building grants support organizations in developing new capacity for conducting workplace safety and health training programs, and must provide training and education based on identified needs of a specific audience or a set of related topics.

Details on the grants and how to apply are available at Grants.gov.  Harwood applications must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Applicants must possess a “D-U-N-S” number and have an …
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Construction Industry: Dropped Objects Cause Injuries

Dropped objects cause injuries in the workplace and according to OSHA they are ranked third. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2017 there were 45,940 reported injuries caused by struck or falling objects (5.2% of all workplace injuries. Out of those incidents, 695 resulted in fatalities.

Other causes of injury and fatalities were falls. The BLS reported that in 2017, “fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), accounting for 887 (17 percent) of worker deaths.”

Falls in the workplace are completely preventable with proper planning and training. Fall Protection Systems is dedicated to providing safe solutions to make sure that all workers return home at the end of their shift. We provide many resources and solutions for our customers to both prevent falls, as well as tether equipment and tools to prevent injury from falling objects.


Improper Fall Protection Proves Costly

When considering the cost of a fall, it is easy to focus only on OSHA penalties and fines. However, improper fall protection proves costly when you factor in lost wages, medical bills, and lawsuits. A recent fall at work was just settled with an employer for $7.8 million.

Raymond DeMarco, fell 10 feet from a platform on a construction site in Philadelphia. He was sandblasting and painting a bridge on November 16th, 2015. A faulting railing on a scaffold is to blame for the fall that caused spinal injuries as well as pneumonia that was contracted while in the hospital.

Loftus Construction, the defendant in the lawsuit allegedly violated OSHA standards by not ensuring safe working conditions. According to Larry Bendesky, the counsel for the plaintiff, “this was a completely preventable accident where the general contractor violated OSHA standards and their own safety policies, resulting in a devastating accident that will have a lifetime impact on a decent, hardworking man.”


Prevent Construction Falls

In a new info-graphic published by NIOSH to prevent construction falls, more than 310 construction workers are killed per year and over 10,000 are seriously injured from falls.

Of those deaths, 81% from roofs are in the construction industry. Factors that contribute to falls from roofs are:

  • Worker inexperience or lack of training
  • No fall protection program or a personal fall arrest system
  • No personal fall protection used
  • Incorrect fall arrest system anchorage method
  • Lack of fall arrest system lanyard connection point
  • Incorrect working length of fall arrest system lifeline
  • Working alone when working at elevations
  • Working during inclement weather (e.g., wind, rain)

Recommendations to prevent falls from roofs include:

  • Implement a fall protection program
  • Wear fall protection, and use correctly
  • Get training on fall protection Train and assign a person to inspect fall protection equipment before each use
  • Use correct anchorage for fall arrest systems
  • Extend the side rails of the ladder 3 feet above the roof edge
  • Use a buddy system when working at heights
  • Monitor weather conditions

Download the full PDF here.


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Workers Death Was Preventable

Friday during routine maintenance changing air filters on the roof of a four story building a man fell from the roof and died. The workers death was preventable. Scott David Pelnar, of Rochester, tripped near the edge of the building and fell off. A surveillance camera captured the accident.

OSHA approved fall protection is necessary for all roof maintenance work regardless of how often it is needed. Each time a worker is on the roof they are at risk for a fall. There are a wide range of fall protection products available that are affordable and easy to install.