More companies are being fined by OSHA for violations relating to fall protection and fall arrest gear than any thing else. And this is not a one time thing. Fall protection continues to land at the top of OSHA’s top violations list. Further inspection shows that these citations are based off of several key issues:
- a lack of fall protection training
- failure to inspect fall arrest gear
- failure to to wear fall arrest gear
- failure to attach the lanyard to a designated anchor point
- not wearing the appropriate fall arrest gear for the job
Why do companies continue to ignore the fall protection standards? What more can we do help them? While the answers are varied, there is one point that seems to rise above all: teamwork. If there an accident occurs in which someone falls without wearing a full-body harness and lanyard then the employer usually takes the blame, and rightly so. It is his or her responsibility. But it takes a team to run a successful construction company, it takes a team to get a job done. So my question is: did no one else on the team know they were supposed to wear fall protection? Did know one else know they needed training or were supposed to inspect the fall arrest gear? If not, then the problem is bigger than we thought.
Chances are there is always at least one person who knows better (I’m willing to bet the number is higher though). Everyone has the right to a safe workplace which means if you are that one person, if you know better, you need to speak up. Be a team player and bring up your concerns for the safety of your team members. It is only by looking out for each other that we remain safe and get the job done. So what are you waiting for? Suit up and join the x-team!