Though it may not be the most exciting conversation your company has, one around fall prevention is certainly one of the most essential. This applies to any workplace where crews are working at heights: getting from one roof to another, accessing raised work areas or getting over obstructions.
Businesses are responsible for their workers and contractors. In the United States, OHSA takes a dim view of any organization that plays fast and loose with safety. Companies that don’t heed their guidelines stand to suffer from severe sanctions — and the penalties could be steep enough to cause bankruptcy in extreme cases.
Savvy operators understand their responsibilities and don’t try to bypass them. The crew who is worried about suffering from injuries aren’t as likely to be excited about their jobs, whereas those who feel safe are highly motivated to do work. It’s also safe to say that few, if any, project managers want to cause or fail to prevent injuries.
Accidents may still happen even with careful planning, but all steps taken to mitigate loss will help. One thing is sure: No construction project manager can show a cavalier attitude toward safety and still earn the respect of peers or subordinates.
There are a few qualities in fall prevention systems worth looking at in detail.
Any system you implement must be able to handle all kinds of inclement weather. Additionally, if you work with products such as hazardous chemicals, they too will play a part in the type of material you choose for your equipment. Ensuring your solution is resistant to corrosion will make your investment worthwhile, as your system won’t rust or corrode over time. And management especially will appreciate an investment that reduces long-term costs while improving profitability.
Falls have caused extensive devastation on work sites over the years. It’s rather easy for a dedicated but distracted worker to move too quickly on a staircase that’s slippery. The proper way to defend against these kinds of accidents is by using slip-resistant surfaces — and by making sure the systems you order include this feature. Stairs and platform surfaces made in this manner offer firm footing. Eliminating this common threat will quickly improve your overall safety.
Ease of Installation
Offering adequate fall protection is, of course, vital. But some systems can be a real pain to implement, costing your team unnecessary time, money and an additional step before a key safety measure is implemented. Why not use a system that’s easy to install, upgrade, configure and reconfigure down the line? Easily bolting together the pieces as necessary, whether it’s by your crew or a quick install from an outside team, will have your fall protection up and running quickly. And it pays to be able to deploy rapidly.
Mobility and Repurposability
Depending on the project, mobility may be a priority. You may need to use the system for a few different configurations before the project ends, and you may also want to use it again in a future project or on a different site.
Moving a work platform or stair system shouldn’t take all day. Configurable platforms and equipment ensure the flexibility needed for larger, more complex projects. Getting ahead of the move by having the right mobility elements in place will help you down the line when you do need to repurpose.
A Solution in Modular Components
In the ErectaStep product, you’ll find that everything is made of modular components, meaning they’re suited for unlimited configurations in the fall protection realm. You can repurpose all of the modular pieces for whatever needs you encounter. And in the fast-paced world of construction management, this added flexibility empowers the project manager to eliminate safety issues.
Liability costs have risen significantly in the past few decades, making safety a priority. With a professional vendor like ErectaStep as your partner, you’ll notice a significant improvement in fall protection. The key is that your system is scalable in an infinite manner. ErectaStep has patented a unique system that allows for exponential growth through repurposing. It doesn’t matter how large the projects are that you tackle; this equipment will handle the stress.
Institute a Fall-Prevention Work Plan
OHSA details their guidelines to help increase worker safety, and other government agencies go a step further by recommending fall-protection work plans. Modify these plans as you like, congruent with your business goals, to create a system that exceeds standards. Increased compliance is the reward for taking this extra step.
In the event of accidents, it pays to be able to show everyone that safety was a primary concern. When attorneys defend companies against liability claims, they have to issue a defense that includes what steps were taken to avoid the problem. The more steps an organization takes, the less likely they are to get hit by large claims.
It’s doubtful that safety will ever become a trivial issue for commercial and industrial applications. People have slipped and fallen before, and without the proper precautions, it will happen again. It takes dedicated project management skills to introduce to your site a fall-protection plan that works. Training workers after the installation and configuration of the system will have everybody on the same page.
With enough planning and training, falls and slips will become minor issues without truly negative consequences. And once you discover modular components, it’s doubtful you’ll want to do things the old way ever again.