Watch Your Step!

Crane training Rope and wire Wire rope connectors

Hoisting and rigging

One of the things to keep in mind when working in construction or with heavy machinery is the safety against falling. Safety in the workplace has continued to grow and improve over the years, leading to lower hazards when dealing with construction. OSHA, in particular, has continued to fine tune the safety of the work place, so that workers may do their job without fear of falling. The steps they have taken to ensure this are numerous. Here are just a few examples:

There exists a three step process for OSHA, which is in place to prevent dangerous falls and save people from injury. These steps are plan, provide and train. OSHA fall protection takes each step carefully into account, given the appropriate time to all three to ensure as minimal risk as possible. First, they must plan out what is needed in everything that is going to be involved in the rigging. Lifting chains, slings, wire rope and marine rope must all be tested for various safety procedures. OSHA tests all fall arrest systems with a weight of 300 pounds, to make doubly sure that the rigging supplies can handle the weight without issue. If a person were to be without fall arrest safety equipment, they could fall up to seven feet in a mere two-thirds of a second.

Then comes the second step, provide. There exists two types of fall arrest systems, personal fall arrests such as lifelines and general fall arrests, like nets. Typically, nets are used where temporary floors and scaffolds are not in use and any fall distance exceeds 25 feet. Otherwise, lifelines are used instead. OSHA makes it their job to provide the latest and safest equipment possible to all works, in order to prevent unnecessary falls in the workplace. Large in part thanks to OSHA fall protection, work-related injuries and illness have dropped from 10.9 incidents per 100 people in the year 1972, straight down to 3.4 per 100 people in 2011.

Finally, comes the last step of train. OSHA ensures that any and all involved in potential risks are properly trained to handle the job. Anyone operating a crane goes through crane training. There even exists fall arrest training and courses available to train workers what they do, should they happen to fall. OSHA’s fall protection remains completely crucial in the work place, in order to provide a better safer working environment for all involved.

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