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Weekly Toolbox Talk: Fall Protection - Equipment and Systems

An injury because of a fall is a major problem in construction. More than 20,000 people are killed every year due to a fall. Only traffic accidents cause more tragedy.

Falling hazards on jobsites are grouped into three general categories:

  • Falls on the same level.
  • Falls from an elevated area.
  • Being struck by a falling object.

Slipping, tripping or bumping into something usually causes falls on the same level. Slipping could be due to mud on a walkway, oil or grease on the floor, a small piece of pipe or a discarded object, to name just a few. We can avoid these hazards in two ways: First, practice good housekeeping by keeping our work areas clean and orderly; second, be alert and watch your step.

An irregular surface, lines or hoses can cause tripping across walkways, tools not in their proper place, poor lighting and many others. To avoid tripping hazards, practice good house keeping, watch your step and keep your safety shoes tied and in good condition.

Be especially careful when working on stilts. You’re elevated, and a fall from even a few feet above the floor can be very painful. The potential for tripping and slipping also is much greater. Keep the work area dry and clean. Make sure straps are in good condition and tightly fastened.

Some items available for fall protection are:

Make sure you can recognize the hazards of the fall situation you are in, and the procedures you must follow in order to minimize the hazards. In order to use any of the systems and equipment described above, you must be trained to do so by your supervisor or safety advisor.