When it comes to Fall Protection it’s all about knowing your enemy. This starts long before you’re training anyone. You need to know and understand exactly where your hazards are, and have a clear plan on how you and your company will protect employees, contractors, and visitors. This hazard assessment process can take as long as a couple days depending on the size of your organization; here’s how to get started:
Now that you’ve audited the situations where Fall Protection will be required, it’s time to acquire and check any fall protection equipment you need. Inspect carefully every piece of fall protection equipment. Look for tears, frays, jagged edges, and any other signs of serious wear. Equipment with any issues should be replaced immediately.
Next up is training your workers.
Remember the lessons we learned in Safety Training 101:
These things may seem minor, but done right, they’re proven to make training more effective.
A strong training program will also cover the following:
You can cover many fall protection training requirements using SafetySmart’s training kits & courses:
You can use SafetySmart’s streaming videos either during onsite training meetings or as part of an online training program. SafetySmart includes over 100 streaming videos, any of which can be viewed or assigned; in addition, you can select additional titles from SafetySmart’s library of over 600 titles to meet specific needs.
Remember, even if you show a video to workers instead of presenting material yourself, you still need to ensure they are competent recognizing the hazards of Fall Protection and how to protect themselves. eLearning can be useful to ensure competency, especially if you have workers spread across multiple sites or working remote, since competency is tested throughout an eLearning course. You should also validate workers know how to use any necessary fall protection equipment.
If your organization faces any unique fall protection issues, you can tailor any of the material included in onsite meeting kits. Likewise, SafetySmart can work with you if tailoring is needed for any online training courses or streaming videos.
Rescue preparation is one of the most ignored topics when it comes to fall protection. Many companies rely on fire departments or emergency services to rescue a fallen employee. The problem? It often takes precious time for emergency services to arrive – time that can mean the difference between life and death.
In Step One, you identified plans for rescuing a fallen employee. In Step Three, you trained your workers on your fall protection rescue plan. Now it’s time to put it to the test. Arrange a drill and test your plan. You can use a CPR mannequin or large bag of flour to simulate a fallen worker. Be sure workers understand how serious a fall is, and help them work quickly and efficiently to rescue the employee in need.
There’s nothing wrong with asking emergency services for help, but they shouldn’t be your only plan. Invite the Fire Department to your facility. Give them a tour and get their opinion on how to rescue a fallen employee. Most departments will enjoy and appreciate your approach to help and teamwork.
The last step of any strong program is to evaluate its effectiveness. Tour your sites. Look for employees doing it right or wrong. Take a moment to recognize and applaud employees for any great efforts.
If you or a member of your safety team finds an employee doing something incorrectly, you can do the following:
Finally, solicit input on your program. Include employees and other members of your safety team. These evaluation templates can help:
Fall Protection is a dangerous hazard in the workplace, but with a few simple steps and the right preparation, you’ll keep your workers out of harm’s way!
Need more help? Call us anytime at 800-667-9300 or email your account manager to discuss how SafetySmart can be used to improve your fall protection program.