#244 New Year Resolutions

Fall Protection – Roofs and Structures: The cause of most fatalities on construction jobsites, falling from roofs and structures, falling from ladders and falling from scaffolding, account for most of the serious falls. Clearly the falls from roofs and structures can be prevented by more attention to tying off at these heights. Remember that only roofers and residential framers are allowed above 7 ½ feet without there being some form of fall protection. The trades most likely to be found above 7 ½ feet include rough mechanical plumbers and other trades that follow the framers at the first established deck (normally around 11 feet).

Fall Protection – Ladders: To be inspected for defects before use, to be the right ladder for the job, and to be used correctly at all times. Step ladders are often not the right type or size or not used correctly in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Remember that an Injury and Illness Prevention Program can be considered “ineffective” if the step ladder user has not been properly trained in the hazards likely to be encountered in the job. This includes a signed Safety Session sheet that documents the training.

Fall Protection – Scaffolding: Scaffolding needs to be erected properly with the help of a qualified/competent person responsible for understanding the requirements for top rails, mid rails, end rails, scaffold plank condition, ties, mudsills securely attached to the base plates, toeboards, and ladders securely attached to the scaffolding structure and always planked upright to upright on tubular metal scaffolding.

Trenching and Excavating: Trenches need to be sheeted and shored when deeper than 5 feet & inspections need to be made frequently, especially in wet weather to be sure that workers are properly protected.

Certification/Permitting: Be sure that your CPR/First Aid certificates are up-to-date, and that permits have been pulled for trenches deeper than 5 feet, construction (GC) framing and scaffolding above 36 feet in height.

Personal Protective Equipment: All trades need to be reminded that the use of appropriate PPE is strongly recommended, and that includes hard hats, protective footwear and eyewear, hand protection, and high visibility clothing (vests, etc) – as necessary.