Santa received a notice of violation(1926.501) Fall Protection-General Requirements and this unfortunately still #1 on OSHA’s TopTen violations for 2019.
In fact, falls have been the number 1 cited violation since 2011 and shows no sign of loosening its grip on that distinction. This is very frustrating since falls can be stopped with the use of one word, NO. If your foreperson or boss tells you we don’t have the time for you to put on your safety gear and properly tie off tethers to finish work on the roof just tell them I don’t have the time to die today, so NO!
Why? Let’s say you do the right thing and wear your harness and all the gear needed. You grab that 4×8 sheet of plywood to take it across the roof when a gust of wind catches the board like a sail and pulls you over the edge. However, your fall is suddenly stopped by the tether and as you wait to be pulled up, you realized you lived and have a good tale to tell. Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, you decided the boss is right and not to wear any of your protective gear. Your reasoning, it’ll only take a second to move that sheet of plywood to the other side of the roof and it’s almost quitting time. As you carry the board across the roof a gust of wind grabs the board and pulls you over the edge and as you plummet there is no sudden jerk from the tether to stop your fall but you have enough seconds to think,, rethink and rethink your mistake, your family, your kids until the ground breaks your fall. If you are lucky the fall killed you instantly, no pain or suffering if you are not, expect a long life of pain, rehab, therapy, and disability.
So as you see the choice is yours. It always has been. Never allow anyone to challenge your courage, your manhood, your personality, your culture, your capability to be a team player or other abilities just to goad you into committing an unsafe act or be bullied or threaten your job to do the same. The law protects you. Call the OSHA HotLine at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA).
Santa’s crew is training on how to properly wear their harness and how and where to properly tie off tethers before working right after they spent time learning what hazards to look for before working at any height over 6 feet, (9 feet in Arizona) since there are so many other ways to die from a fall. Mis-use of ladders, poorly assembled scaffolding, side rails with missing sections, unmarked holes in the floor, wet or slick floors, distraction while working with spinning or vibrating equipment. This is why you always inspect the area and safety equipment to be used before beginning work and never use any safety equipment that is damaged, frayed or altered. What good is a side rail going to do for you if a section is missing to stop your fall? What good is a rope rated to hold 100 lbs., when you weigh 220 lbs.? Get in the habit of asking questions. The answers you get will give you enough insight to tell you if you want to continue working for that company. If they give you answers and take safety seriously you found a keeper,
Santa’s Northpole workshop as well as your fall prevention program should include:
- Training – Identification of fall Hazards, how to wear and use PPE, anchoring tethers/lanyards and other associated items.
- Live demonstration and practice wearing and using.
- Document all training including signatures of attendees, the material covered and who conducted the training.
- Enforce the rules, evenly and consistently.
- Group inspection of PPE Equipment needs to be inspected on a regular basis, what better way to turn it into a safety training.
- Morning Huddle is a good tool to keep everyone in the loop as to what’s going on and any changes that are being made.
- Training – This is not one and done. Don’t hesitate to have a refresher especially if you feel your staff needs it.
That was the last violation. I believe Santa has complied fully and should get a clean bill of health but then you never know what the grinch has up his sleeve. TOMORROW – THE DECISION