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Weekly Toolbox Talk: War on Falls - Stilts

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STILTS POLICY STATES:
Employees shall always use a stable surface, scaffold, material stack, or wall for support when getting on or off stilts. When mounting stilts, the top leg strap first will be buckled first. When dismounting, the leg strap is unbuckled last. (Wheels on scaffold must be locked)

Today we will discuss the simple precautions that when integrated into daily work routine, can help to prevent most stilt injuries. Let us review the most common causes of stilt injuries.

Trips—are caused by cardboard boxes, carpet edges, extension cords, loose wires, power tool cords, scaffold wheels, drywall scrap, stacks of wood, tool carts, framing materials and plastic floor covering.

Slips—are caused by metal debris, wet finishing compound, metal nuts, metal screws water, and oil.

Poor stilt maintenance—is another leading cause of falls from stilts. Examples of poor stilt maintenance that can lead to an injury include broken or loose straps, a wing nut falling out of a stilt, a broken spring, and a broken leg bracket.

Stilt Maintenance— All stilts will be equipped with the tie-down straps on the top and bottom of the lower strut tube for added security. Any defective stilt will be taken out of service immediately. Stilts shall only be repaired using parts from the manufacturer. Every employee is allotted $35.00 annually for replacement parts.

Additional causes for stilts injuries include putting on/taking off stilts, loss of balance, hitting one’s head on fixtures (door jamb, sprinkler), and bending over (picking up mud bucket, getting through a door). You must remember to be very careful because you are also exposed to getting things in the eye while walking stilts like ceiling wires, electrical wire, and infection from stilt straps. Pushing materials with legs while wearing stilts is not allowed.

The following should be done each time the work progresses into a new area, or at the beginning of the shift:

  • Identify and remove (where possible) objects that may result in a fall.

  • Sweep the floor.

  • Carry brooms onto the site along with equipment and tools.

Stay away from:

  • Congested areas that are not suitable for stilts.

  • All materials, equipment, or trash piles at least 3 feet.

  • At least 20 feet of un-guarded open railing, windows any wall opening, window opening, or shafts.

  • Using ladders to climb stilts is a dangerous practice and it has been the cause of several accidents. The use of ladders to climb stilts is prohibited and it is considered a fall exposure

REMEMBER! Any employee in violation of these safety rules will be subject to a disciplinary action with a minimum suspension of two days.

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