Your warehouse is a busy place, filled with lots of hazardous equipment and high workspaces. When proper safety precautions are followed, it’s a safe place to work, but things can quickly take a risky turn if appropriate measures aren’t followed.
Whether you’re filling part-time jobs in Bethlehem, PA or are fully staffed right now, it’s important to review your current fall protection guidelines. The number of days away from work cases due to falls, slips, and trips in warehousing and storage environments surged 480 cases to 3,030 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This isn’t surprising, considering falls are one of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Here are a few guidelines to help keep your workers safe from falls.
Four OSHA Rules to Prevent Falls
OSHA requires employers to put safeguards in place to keep workers from falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations or into the floor and walls. In general industry workplaces, fall protection must be provided at elevations of four feet, rising to five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations.
Additionally, OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection equipment when employees are working over dangerous equipment and machinery — no matter what the fall distance. OSHA advises employers to take these measures to reduce the risk of falls:
- Use a railing and toe-board or floor cover to guard every floor hold a worker could accidentally walk into.
- Install a guardrail and toe-board around every elevated open-sided platform, floor or runway.
- Mount a guardrail and toe-boards to avoid falls and injury around any dangerous machines or equipment a worker could fall into — regardless of height.
- Depending on the job, other fall protection equipment might be required, including safety harnesses and lines, safety nets, stair railings, and handrails.
Ultimately, OSHA requires employers to create a safe work area for employees. This means eliminating all known dangers, maintaining a clean workspace, providing personal protective equipment at no charge and ensuring all workers are properly trained to do their jobs.
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