The only thing that should be falling this winter is snow. Yet, when we look at Alberta’s injury statistics, we see that there are people falling and injuring themselves at work sites on a regular basis.
In fact, there were 7,232 disability claims filed in 2016 due to falling, which is nearly 16% of all of the disability claims in our province. This month we want to take a closer look at how you can protect yourself, your co-workers and your loved ones from the hazards of working at height and falls.
Falls are one of the biggest causes of major workplace injuries. But, with the proper use of fall protection equipment — in addition to planning, supervision, and training — can reduce or eliminate the risk of falling.
So how can you stay safe? It’s always a good idea to complete a hazard assessment before you start work. If your feet have left the ground - or you are working in an area or on a platform - there are hazards to be aware of. Anytime that you are working at heights, make sure you assess the height, look for guardrails or handrails in place and ensure you have the proper protective equipment, so such as guidelines and harnesses.
When you start the work, make sure that you take your time are aware of your surroundings. While you are working from heights, you can protect yourself from falling by:
- Making sure your ladder, scaffold or platform is set-up on even ground
- Making sure your ladder, scaffold or platform has been properly maintained
- Never sitting or standing on the top step of a ladder
- Not leaning over when using a ladder. It could cause the ladder to tip over
- Wearing proper footwear that has non slip soles
- Making sure your ladder or platform is properly secured and safe to use
- Making you and your harness are properly secured to a safe location
You should also be properly trained and competent. The best way to prevent an injury is to be properly trained to be aware of the risks, and know how to mitigate them. That’s where we can help!
In order to meet the CSA standard, anyone who has taken an approved fall protection course will have the general knowledge on how to create a fall protection plan. AIP Safety offers both.
If you would like to learn more about Fall Protection, you can join our in-class training Fall Protection Course. The classroom version is lead by an experienced instructor who has over 20 years of experience working in the trades and using Fall Protection daily. These courses will teach you how to properly assess risk, use guards, fit and use straps and protect yourself from falls and working at heights.