What Employers Can Do To Prevent Falls In The Workplace

Because falls are the leading cause of injuries & fatalities in the construction industry, it is essential for employers to adopt and implement safe work practices to protect both their employees and themselves. Fortuantely recommendations from OSHA are a solid resource and reference for employers. Utilize the following strategies from OSHA's quickcard to preventing falls in the workplace.

To prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers must:

  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk by use of a railing and toe board or a floor hole cover.
  • Provide a guardrail and toe board around every open-sided platform, floor or runway that is 4 feet or higher off the ground or next level.
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt), employers must provide guardrails and toeboards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
  • Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.

OSHA requires employers to:

  • Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
  • Keep floors in work areas in a clean and sanitary condition.
  • Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
  • Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.