Fall Protection Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on May 13, 2020

Workers can prevent workplace falls that result in serious injuries by using common sense and following workplace safety rules. Ignoring on-the-job safety measures creates a dangerous workplace environment.

Stay Safe by Following the Rules 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates job safety by requiring all employers to identify job hazards, pos job safety regulations, and perform regular workplace inspections. Despite strict OSHA safety standards, on-the-job accidents and injuries still occur when workers make fall protection mistakes on the job. The most common mistakes that cause injuries include:

Working While Drowsy

Working around hazardous job conditions including extreme heights, moving machinery, toxic chemicals, and flammable liquids can lead to serious injuries. Construction workers such as roofers, window installers, and painters, as well as demolition workers and machinery operators, should never perform daily work tasks while drowsy or fatigued.

Choosing Speed Over Safety

Workers required to work at heights, around gas lines or electrical equipment, in underground trenches and tunnels, and around heavy industrial machinery must take safety precautions seriously at all times, using safety harnesses and protective gear. In dangerous job conditions, choosing speed over safety can result in life-long injuries, disabilities, and death.

Failure to Inspect Safety Gear

Workers who rely on safety gear to prevent falls should inspect the gear with each use. Assuming that it’s safe because it was safe yesterday can prove deadly. Harnesses and lanyards must be inspected for frayed stitching, torn grommets, and defective buckles. Safety helmets must be inspected for proper fit, chin straps, and cushioning.

Improvising Safety Equipment

In jobs where safety equipment is required for protection, cutting corners is dangerous. Using stacked crates instead of a safety ladder, using a rope instead of a safety harness, wearing a soft cap or hat instead of a safety helmet, and ignoring brightly colored safety flags and signs can result in serious workplace injuries and fatalities.  

Failure to Use Guardrails

Workers who regularly work on rooftops, scaffolding, and tall ladders are required to use guard rails for fall protection. Avoiding these OSHA regulations can result in a fatal fall. Chicago workers comp lawyers see handles many fall injury cases for construction workers, line workers, and warehouse workers. 

The National Safety Council reports falls as the third leading cause of death from accidental injuries. In 2018, 5,250 workers died due to workplace falls. According to OSHA, many of those deaths could have been prevented if workers had followed workplace safety regulations.