Falling objects can be materials, tools, debris or equipment, and if they land on you, you can be seriously injured or even killed.
Let’s look first at the problem of materials. Materials are piled in the yard, in the truck, or at various places on the job site. The phrase “Piling up Trouble” surely fits the situation when you pile material improperly. All materials should be piled on a sound base, straight and steady, and at a reasonable height. It may be well to crosstie and cover the material for protection and safety.
Piling materials on scaffolds requires special care. You have to be sure not to overload, to allow ample space for work operations, and to make the piles stable. Be sure toe boards are placed on all scaffolding and open elevations to safeguard workers below from falling materials—loose brick, tools, equipment.
When you want to send material, tools or equipment to higher elevations, use containers or buckets and hand lines. Never throw materials or tools. When you pull on a hand line, he sure to stand clear of the loaded materials and tools. Keep an eye on the load as it goes up. When you have to pull up materials that can’t be placed in a container, fasten the load securely to the hand line. If materials like pipe, conduit, and rods aren’t properly fastened in bundles, a piece can be jarred loose and hit the worker pulling the hand line.
Tools, equipment and materials often fall when workers attempt to carry them up ladders. Use hand lines so your hands will be free to hold onto the ladder when you go up. When you load hoists and platform skips, be sure the materials and packages are stacked safely. A sloppy load is a load of trouble. Never leave a load suspended.
When you work beneath other operations, like riveting crews, wear your hard hat, it’s often a lifesaver. When you strip forms, it’s important to use the necessary guards. Often you’ll find workers working on makeshift scaffolds, attempting to strip panels on the floor slab. They don’t seem to know that the entire section might come loose and fall on them.
Where scaffolds are not provided and you work at an open elevation, wear a safety belt and tied-off life-line. Then if you’re using both hands to pry a panel and it breaks loose suddenly, the safety belt and life-line will keep you from falling. Working from swing staging is also a dangerous operation and requires the utmost care to prevent falls of equipment, materials and tools.
We know what precautions the company takes to protect us. Now, let’s all do our share to keep objects from falling. We’ll prevent injury to workers below as well as to ourselves.