Common Mistakes that Cause Falls on Construction Sites

 

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there were 774 deaths among construction workers on the job in 2010. Falls accounted for 264 fatalities and were the leading cause of death for construction workers. The sad part is most of the fatalities could have been prevented with proper construction site safety. Falls also cause numerous non-fatal injuries. With proper fall prevention incorporated into the safety program, a significant portion of the non-fatal accidents on constructions sites could be avoided as well.

 

 

There is risk of a fall is whenever employees are on an elevated surface – ladders, scaffolds, bridges or roofs.. Employers need to recognize the potential dangers involved and plan the work in a way that will allow its completion while reducing the risk of injury as much possible. This includes determining what safety equipment and safety gear is needed, and how it will be used to prevent the possibility of a fall.[WCx]

 

 

OSHA regulations require any worker six feet or higher above the lower level to have “personal fall arrest systems”. In non-government speak, a safety harness or a system of railings around the edges of the work surface to keep the employee protected from the edge and a fall.

 

 

In planning the work, the employer should be conscientious to provide the right equipment. Ladders that are too short, scaffolding that has seen better days or worn out safety gear is an invitation to a workers compensation claim. The equipment and gear provided to the employees should be appropriate for the job.

 

 

Planning the work with safety in mind and providing the safety equipment and safety gear will not prevent injuries if the employees do not know how to use the equipment and gear correctly.Employers often take it for granted that employees know how to use ladders or scaffolding, but improper use of equipment is the most common reason for accidents. For example: Ladders are  frequently used in a dangerous fashion.

 

Common ladder mistakes include:

 

Going up or down the ladder facing away from the ladder

Over reaching away from the ladder

“Walking the ladder” (moving the ladder sideways by bouncing up down while on the ladder)

Failure to maintain three point contact (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot while ascending/descending the ladder)

Not placing the ladder on a level surface

Not securing the ladder (tying it off or bracing so that it cannot move)

Setting a ladder up on scaffolding, or worse, a ladder on a ladder!

 

 

Common mistakes with scaffolding include:

 

Partially planking the scaffolding, instead of fully planked

Not installing the guardrails

Not verify the scaffolding is plumb and level before using it

Not checking the assembly to be sure all proper connections have been made

Climbing over the cross braces

Standing on the guardrails

Reaching outside of the scaffolds

 

 

When working at heights of six foot or higher, the most effective “personal fall arrest systems” is a full body harness, a rope-grab lifeline, and connectors. The full body harness uses D-rings to connect the body harness to the rope-grab lifeline. The rope-grab lifeline is securely attached to the roof, scaffolding or other surface that is structurally strong enough to support the employee’s full weight in the event of a fall.[WCx]

 

 

Fall prevention on construction sites will save the employer significantly on the cost of workers compensation insurance, as fall prevention will lower both the frequency of accidents and the severity of the accidents that do happen. By planning the job,providing the right equipment and training the employees on the proper use of it, employers can eliminate most falls, save lives and reduce the number of injuries.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact:  mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Make Your Workers Comp Costs Fall to Their Death Instead of Your Employees

 

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there were 774 deaths among construction workers on the job in 2011. Falls accounted for 264 fatalities and were the leading cause of death for construction workers. The sad part is most of the fatalities could have been prevented with proper construction site safety. Falls also cause numerous non-fatal injuries. With proper fall prevention incorporated into the safety program, a significant portion of the non-fatal accidents on constructions sites could be avoided as well.
 
 
The risk of a fall is presented whenever employees are on an elevated surface – ladders, scaffolds, bridges or roofs.  Employers need to recognize the potential dangers involved and plan the work in a way that will allow its completion while reducing the risk of injury. This includes determining what safety equipment is needed and how it will be used to prevent the possibility of a fall.[WCx]
 
 
OSHA regulations require any worker six feet or higher above the lower level to have “personal fall arrest systems”.  These could include a safety harness or a system of railings around the edges of the work surface to keep the employee protected from the edge and a fall.
 
 
The employer needs to be conscientious to provide the right equipment for the job. Ladders that are too short, scaffolding that has seen better days, or worn out safety gear is an invitation to a workers compensation claim. The equipment and gear provided to the employees should be appropriate for the job.
 
 
Planning the work with safety in mind and providing the proper safety equipment will not prevent injuries if the employees do not know how to use it correctly.Employers often take it for granted that employees know how to use ladders or scaffolding, but improper use of equipment is the most common reason for accidents. 
 
Common ladder mistakes 

  • Going up or down the ladder facing away from the ladder
  • Over reaching away from the ladder
  • “Walking the ladder” (moving the ladder sideways by bouncing up down while on the ladder)
  • Failure to maintain three point contact (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot while ascending/descending the ladder)
  • Not placing the ladder on a level surface
  • Not securing the ladder (tying it off or bracing so that it cannot move)
  • Setting a ladder up on scaffolding, or worse, a ladder on a ladder!
 
 
Common Scaffolding Mistakes

  • Partially planking the scaffolding, instead of fully planked
  • Not installing the guardrails
  • Not verify the scaffolding is plumb and level before using it
  • Not checking the assembly to be sure all proper connections have been made
  • Climbing over the cross braces
  • Standing on the guardrails
  • Reaching outside of the scaffolds
 
 
When working at heights of six foot or higher, the most effective “personal fall arrest systems” is a full body harness, a rope-grab lifeline, and connectors. The full body harness uses D-rings to connect the body harness to the rope-grab lifeline. The rope-grab lifeline is securely attached to the roof, scaffolding or other surface that is structurally strong enough to support the employee’s full weight in the event of a fall.[WCx]
 
 
Fall prevention on construction sites will save the employer significantly on the cost of workers compensation insurance, as fall prevention will lower both the frequency and severity of the accidents that do happen. By planning the job, providing the right equipment, and training the employees on the its proper use, employers can eliminate most falls, save lives and reduce the number of injuries. 
 


 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

New Hampshire Employer Cited for Endangering Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports it recently cited Monster Contracting LLC for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a residential construction site located at 100 Bradley St. in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Candia-based framing contractor faces a total of $59,200 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Concord Area Office.

 
 
 
"Employees at this job site faced the risk of disabling or deadly injuries from falls, crushing injuries, or being struck by flying debris or objects while operating nail guns and other tools," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "Compounding the situation was the fact that these employees lacked training that would have taught them how to recognize and avoid such hazards." [WCx]
 
 

OSHA found employees exposed to falls from heights of 6 to 20 feet while performing exterior and interior framing work without fall protection or near an unguarded window, floor and stairwell openings, which resulted in a citation for one willful violation with a $28,000 fine. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

 
 

Nine serious violations with $31,200 in fines include a lack of eye protection for employees working with nail guns, power tools and staplers; damaged and misused ladders; a damaged sling used to lift walls; the employer's failure to certify that powered industrial truck operators had been trained; unsafe access to elevated areas of the building; lumber with protruding nails in a work area; not training employees to recognize fall, material handling, electrical and flying object hazards; and not training employees in the safe operation of power tools and the proper use of ladders.

 
 
 
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. [WCx]
 
 

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. 

 

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Construction Director Prosecuted after Worker Injuries

A Pembroke Dock, Wales construction company and its director have been prosecuted after a labourer suffered serious injuries on a construction site, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
 
 
Karl Kraus, 31, from Pembroke Dock was employed by Preseli Construction & Maintenance Ltd, and was working on the build of a large domestic property at Incline Way, Saundersfoot. (WCxKit)
 
 
Haverfordwest Magistrates Court heard that on March 25, 2010, Kraus was instructed to remove a concrete block that had been placed across a doorway. As he proceeded to throw the block, he fell backwards on to the balcony and then seven metres to the ground below.
 
 
An HSE investigation found that the three-story house was being built without scaffold or any form of fall prevention.
 
 
Preseli Construction & Maintenance Ltd. and its director, Christopher Newell, had failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned and supervised. They also failed to ensure that it was carried out in a safe manner.
 
 
Kraus spent six days in Morriston Hospital in Swansea where he underwent surgery to pin the bone in his left heel and was in a plaster cast for approximately ten months.  Still in constant pain and unable to walk on uneven ground without risking a fall, he is due to undergo further surgery to prevent any further damage to his foot, but his career in the construction industry is over.
 
 
Preseli Construction & Maintenance Ltd. of Waterloo Industrial Estate, Eastern Avenue, Pembroke Dock pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined $7,671.6 and ordered to pay costs of $1,519.37. (WCxKit)
 
 
Newell of The Glebe, Narberth Road, Tenby also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined $ 2,557, with costs of $1,519.37. Newell is also disqualified from acting as a company director, managing or in any way controlling a company for at least two years.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is a contributing author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% www.WCManual.com. Visit at: www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

British Firm Contractor Fined For Worker Fall

A building firm and a contractor in North Yorkshire, Great Britain were recently fined after a worker was injured following a fall while working on the construction of a new farm building, according to a report from The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
 
 
The 36-year-old worker, who asked not to be named, was employed by Stephen Ramsey, trading as Up & Cover, who had been subcontracted by Waddington Buildings Limited to carry out steel erection work and cladding on the building at Brierton North Farm, Billingham. Both Ramsey andWaddington Buildings Limited were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (WCxKit)
 
 
Teesside Magistrates’ Court was told the worker was standing on a pallet fitted to a fork attachment of a tractor, which was lifted to heights of around four and a half meters to allow the worker to measure and fit guttering to the building. The court heard the tractor was being operated by Stephen Ramsey when it unexpectedly moved with the pallet in a raised position causing the worker to lose his balance and fall to the ground.
 
 
He spent 15 days in a hospital after his left heel was smashed and his right ankle was fractured and treatment is still ongoing.
 
 
HSE’s investigation revealed Ramsey failed to carry out the work safely and Waddington Buildings Limited had failed to establish whether work carried out on their behalf would be done safely and whether Stephen Ramsey was competent to do the work.
 
 
Stephen Ramsey, pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,000 ($1,567) and ordered to pay £250 ($3920) costs. (WCxKit)
 
 
Waddington Buildings Limited, of Station Road, Brompton on Swale, pleaded guilty to one breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £3,500 ($5,484) and ordered to pay costs of £900 ($1,410).

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

New Foundland Fall Protection Training Required for Number of Workers

Employers and workers using fall protection equipment must have completed an approved training program from a approved training provider according to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission in New Foundland, Canada is advising. Training begins January 1, 2012.
 
 
According to a report from the Commission, workers who have not completed an approved training program will not be permitted to work from heights or to work with fall protection equipment in Newfoundland and Labrador. (WCxKit)
 
 
Under Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety OH&S Regulations, fall protection equipment is required where a worker is at risk of falling three meters or more or is working above hazardous or dangerous areas.
 
 
“Seven workers in Newfoundland and Labrador died as a result of falls from heights since 2004,” said Commission CEO Leslie Galway. “All workplace accidents are preventable and this new training requirement will help ensure these types of tragedies are not replayed across the province."
 
 
The use of fall protection equipment is required in all industries in Newfoundland and Labrador. These include, but are limited to, general construction, residential construction, road construction, roofing, utilities, oil, mining, fishing, and municipalities
 
 
The Commission recently developed the Fall Protection Certification Training Standard establishing criteria for fall protection training providers and trainers. Training providers wishing to deliver fall protection certification training should develop and submit their training curriculum to the Commission for approval.
 
 
Fall Protection Certification Training by an approved provider is valid for three years. (WCxKit)
 
 
Training is available through a number of providers approved by the Commission. For a complete list of approved training providers and courses, consult the Commission Web site at: http://www.whscc.nl.ca/PREV_FallProtection.whscc.
 
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
 

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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