Make Fall Safety a Top Priority

Falls are a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death at work. In 2018, 791 people died in falls from heights and from the same level at work. For working adults, depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death.

Hazards in the Workplace

Also in 2018, more than 240,000 people were injured badly enough in falls to require days off of work, according to Injury Facts.

Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height – more than seven times the rate of other industries – but falls can happen anywhere, even at a “desk job.”

NSC data for 2018 measures deaths and injuries due to falls from height and falls on the same level, by industry, including:

  • Construction: 10,650 injuries, 320 deaths
  • Production: 17,160 injuries, 39 deaths
  • Transportation and Material Moving: 45,730 injuries, 82 deaths
  • Farming, Fishing and Forestry: 4,380 injuries, 17 deaths
  • Building and Grounds Maintenance: 16,880 injuries, 99 deaths
  • Healthcare: 13,600 injuries, 3 deaths

Falls are 100% Preventable

Whether working from a ladder, roof or scaffolding, it’s important to plan ahead, assess the risk and use the right equipment. First, determine if working from a height is absolutely necessary or if there is another way to do the task safely.

  • Discuss the task with coworkers and determine what safety equipment is needed
  • Make sure you are properly trained on how to use the equipment
  • Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting the job
  • Make sure you have level ground to set up the equipment
  • If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather
  • Use the correct tool for the job, and use it as intended
  • Ensure stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open
  • Always keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder
  • Place the ladder on a solid surface and never lean it against an unstable surface
  • A straight or extension ladder should be 1 foot away from the surface it rests on for every 4 feet of height and extend at least 3 feet over the top edge
  • Securely fasten straight and extension ladders to an upper support
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes and don’t stand higher than the third rung from the top
  • Don’t lean or reach while on a ladder, and have someone support the bottom
  • Never use old or damaged equipment; check thoroughly before use

Millions of people are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every year. A fall can end in death or disability in a split second, but with a few simple precautions, you’ll be sure stay safe at at work.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Fall Protection June 2020 – Safety Alert

Recent Increase in Fall of Person Accidents

28 miners have died after falling from heights over the last 10 years.

Deaths from falls have increased from 8% to 19% of mining fatalities in the last two years.

  • Working without fall protection on top of trucks, in aerial lift baskets, and while accessing and egressing other mobile equipment
  • While performing maintenance on crushers, screens, conveyors, and other milling equipment

MSHA issued 92 imminent danger orders for people working at heights without fall protection between January 2019 and June 2020. The most common violations were truck drivers climbing atop their vehicles, and maintenance and quarry personnel climbing to or working without fall protection in high places. Supervisors have been ordered down from dangerous locations.

Fall protection Safety Alert information for June of 2020
Best Practices:
  • Reduce hazards. Design work areas and develop job tasks to minimize fall hazards.
  • Have a program. Establish an effective fall prevention and protection program. Provide task and site-specific hazard training that prohibits working at unprotected locations.
  • Provide a fall protection harness and lanyard to each miner who may work at an elevated height or a location unprotected by handrails. Ensure their use.
  • Provide identifiable, secure anchor points to attach lanyards.
  • Proactively enforce fall protection equipment usage and safe work-at-height policies and procedures with supervisors, miners, contractors, and truck drivers.
  • Provide mobile or stationary platforms or scaffolding at locations and on work projects where there is a risk of falling.
  • Provide safe truck tarping and bulk truck hatch access facilities.

Fall Protection June 2020 – Safety Alert

Recent Increase in Fall of Person Accidents

28 miners have died after falling from heights over the last 10 years.

Deaths from falls have increased from 8% to 19% of mining fatalities in the last two years.

  • Working without fall protection on top of trucks, in aerial lift baskets, and while accessing and egressing other mobile equipment
  • While performing maintenance on crushers, screens, conveyors, and other milling equipment

MSHA issued 92 imminent danger orders for people working at heights without fall protection between January 2019 and June 2020. The most common violations were truck drivers climbing atop their vehicles, and maintenance and quarry personnel climbing to or working without fall protection in high places. Supervisors have been ordered down from dangerous locations.

Fall protection Safety Alert information for June of 2020
Best Practices:
  • Reduce hazards. Design work areas and develop job tasks to minimize fall hazards.
  • Have a program. Establish an effective fall prevention and protection program. Provide task and site-specific hazard training that prohibits working at unprotected locations.
  • Provide a fall protection harness and lanyard to each miner who may work at an elevated height or a location unprotected by handrails. Ensure their use.
  • Provide identifiable, secure anchor points to attach lanyards.
  • Proactively enforce fall protection equipment usage and safe work-at-height policies and procedures with supervisors, miners, contractors, and truck drivers.
  • Provide mobile or stationary platforms or scaffolding at locations and on work projects where there is a risk of falling.
  • Provide safe truck tarping and bulk truck hatch access facilities.

‘No two roofs are basically alike’: CPWR hosts webinar on fall protection

roofer.jpg
Photo: nycshooter/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — Roofers face an increased risk of fatal falls to a lower level compared with other construction subgroups, making fall protection strategies a vital component of roof work planning and training.

That was the message of an April 16 webinar hosted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training in conjunction with the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Multiple NRCA officials spotlighted basics of fall prevention and protection. “Of course, the challenge with roofing is that no two roofs are basically alike,” said Thomas Shanahan, the association’s vice president of enterprise risk management and executive education. “It’s a very dynamic versus static workplace, so it’s always changing, and so we have to be ever mindful of what are our options – what are the things we can be doing to protect workers so we plan for that.”

According to CPWR research released in 2019, although roofers experienced fewer fatal falls in 2017, the rate of fatal falls within the subgroup stood at 35.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers – more than 10 times greater than the rate of all construction occupations combined.

The speakers highlighted the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction – a joint effort of NIOSH, OSHA and CPWR – which offers three core steps to preventing falls:

  • Plan ahead to get the job done safely
  • Provide the right equipment
  • Train everyone to use the equipment safely

In the event of a fall, Rich Trewyn, director of enterprise risk management at NRCA, said the two basic elements of rescue are delaying orthostatic shock while suspended, also known as suspension trauma, and bringing the fallen worker to a support surface such as the ground or roof. Carefully handle the fallen worker to ensure he or she is in a comfortable position, and call 911.

“All of this rescue portion is all about preplanning, and planning for an event that really isn’t going to be easy to plan for,” Trewyn said. “But it’s something that we can do, it’s something that we can practice for and make sure that we’re training our employees in the proper way.”

In the introduction to the webinar, Scott Ketcham, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, discussed the agency’s efforts to mitigate “Construction Focus Four” hazards: caught-in or caught-between incidents, electrocution, falls, and struck-by incidents.

Citing data from the OSHA Information System database, Ketcham also displayed the agency’s “Top 10” list of most cited standards for construction for fiscal year 2019, noting that six involved an element of fall protection. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) topped the list with 6,881 violations, while Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) ranked fourth with 2,015.

With OSHA recently deciding to postpone the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ketcham gave updates on other planned outreach events in which the agency is involved. The Heat Illness Prevention campaign is on for the spring and summer; the Trench Safety Stand-Down remains “tentatively” scheduled for June 15-19; and Safe + Sound Week, slated for Aug. 10-16, is set to proceed as scheduled.

Pure Safety Group recalls SRLs with stainless steel or web lifelines

Houston — Pure Safety Group has issued an immediate recall and stop-use alert for its Guardian Fall Protection Self-Retracting Lifelines that use a stainless steel or web lifeline.

“A small number of SRLs were identified as noncompliant with ANSI Z359.14-14 and must immediately be removed from service,” PSG states in a press release. Under certain conditions, the stainless steel or web lifeline may not perform to industry standards in leading-edge applications and could result in serious bodily injury or death.

The recall affects the following product numbers:

  • 10931: Halo (formerly Edge) Series with 20-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10933: Halo (formerly Edge) Series with 25-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10936: Halo (formerly Edge) Series with 30-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10979: Diablo (formerly Daytona) with 50-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10980: Diablo (formerly Daytona) with 65-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10908: Halo Series with 20-foot web retractable lifeline with boot cover

According to the release, no incidents or injuries related to the recall have been reported. In November, PSG issued an immediate recall and stop-use alert for its Guardian Fall Protection and Web Device 3-Way Rescue and Retrieval Self-Retracting Lifeline units.

3M gives update on recent recall of fall protection devices

Red Wing, MN — 3M Co. has resolved an issue with the energy absorber on one of its recalled fall protection devices, the organization announced Aug. 6. The solution, however, is available only in regions that recognize ANSI standard Z359.14.

3M recently issued an immediate recall and stop-use alert for the DBI-SALA Twin-Leg Nano-Lok Edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg Self-Retracting Lifelines. The energy absorbers on both devices were susceptible to not deploying in a proper manner, potentially putting workers at risk of serious injury or death, the alert states.

3M announced that it resolved the partial deployment of the energy absorber on its DBI-SALA Twin-Leg Nano-Lok Edge device, but that solution is limited so far.

“Due to regional regulatory requirements, this solution is currently available ONLY in regions that recognize the ANSI standard,” 3M states. “As other regulatory certifications are received, this solution will be made available in those regions. Until your unit has been repaired or replaced, the ‘Stop Use and Recall’ remains in effect and these units must be removed from service.”

The alert informs customers that the fall protection device is safe to use if it has a green check mark on the front label, adding that the mark means the unit “has either been repaired or has come from the factory with the revision and is certified for its intended use.”

3M is offering to repair or replace affected devices for free, or will issue a refund. To file a claim, go to nanolokedgerecall.com. Product numbers of affected devices are listed on the website.

For questions, call 3M’s customer service department at (833) 638-2697 or email 3musfpserviceaction@mmm.com.

STOP USE of 3M DBI-SALA Nano-Lok Edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg Self Retracting Lifelines

3M Fall Protection has announced an immediate stop use and product recall of the 3M™ DBI-SALA® Nano-Lok™ edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg Self Retracting Lifelines. The twin-leg Nano-Lok edge is part of a personal fall protection system and connects two self-retracting lifelines/devices (SRL’s/SRD’s) directly under the dorsal d-ring of a worker’s harness. It is intended to be anchored at foot-level, and is designed for sharp edge applications. The twin-leg Wrap Back Nano-Lok is intended for wrapping around an anchor and incorporates a similar energy absorber. 3M has determined that in the event of a fall and under certain conditions, the energy absorber may not properly deploy which could expose the worker to serious injury or death.

RECALL NOTICE