The eyes of an employee are one of the greatest tools in the injury prevention toolbox. With them an employee can spot hazards and take the steps necessary to prevent injury. However, each year thousands of workers are injured by a hazard they cannot see, falling objects.
This talk will examine four ways an employer can help mitigate the risk and injury associated with falling objects.
- Provide Warning– When working on a jobsite where the potential for falling objects exist the employer needs to provide adequate warning for both the employee and other people who may enter the jobsite.
- Keep a clean worksite -Tools and debris are one of the main causes of falling objects. To mitigate this hazard employees need to ensure the work areas is clean and tidy. When a worker is done using a tool they need to put it in the proper storage area, if they have made a mess or created debris they need to clean it up immediately.
- Administrative controls – Administrative controls are a great way to prevent or stop falling objects in the workplace. Examples of these types of controls include the installation of boards on the sides of elevated work areas or scaffolds to prevent objects from falling over the edge, the usage of bars across storage areas to keep material from tumbling out, the usage of nets to capture falling object, the implementation of fences or other barricades to keep workers and guest out of fall zones.
- Protective Equipment– When all else fails the last line of defense is personal protective equipment. Anyone who is going to be in an area where to potential for falling object hazards exists needs to wear a hard hat and steel toed shoes. Both of these pieces of equipment must be inspected before use and be in proper working condition and fit properly. All employers are required to provide employees with Personal Protective Equipment.
- Toolbox talk based on NMGC submitted by Eric Cameron – Exelon Mystic Station