Today’s lesson learned from the Wile E. Coyote school of safety where they constantly defy the laws of physics, perverse the rules of nature and live in animated immortality. But here gravity always rules.
LESSON 4 Preventing Falls: Falls don’t just occur off the top of a building but can happen in facilities where production occurs within buildings of several stories including several levels of mezzanines and conveyors belts. Lack of railings, guard rails or open holes in floors are especially dangerous in these areas since you are not wearing fall protection gear so if you drop the only thing stopping you is the bottom. If you were to slip or trip in an elevated area the safety railing/guard rail is there to stop you from going over the side preventing serious injury or death.
If a section of safety railing needs to be removed for repairs or replacement it should be completed as fast as possible and not wind up on a backburner. Until the railing is back in place properly mark the area as hazardous with signs and cones and limit the amount of traffic. As far as the odd holes in the floor, they’re usually the result of machinery that use to operate in that space. Why some companies leave the holes I’ll never understand as it’s dangerous and illegal to do so. How can you concentrate on your job when you have to wonder if you’re taking your last step. In areas where a lot of debris is created makes the holes even harder to find. Cover and repair them immediately!
If these unsafe conditions exist where you work and you have reported them and no one gets back to you, there is no movement to correct it, or you’ve been told to mind your business and you’ve spoken with H.R. and/or your union representative and still, nothing is done then you have to decide how important your life is. Call the OSHA Hotline 1-800-321-6742(OSHA) and make an anonymous complaint. The life you save may be your own.