Fall protection has topped OSHA’s list of violations for the last several years. In fact, fall protection violations accounted for 7,402 violations in 2015. EHSToday.com defines fall protection as “any means used to protect workers from falls from heights.” So that covers falling humans, but what about falling objects such as tools or equipment? Many times companies rely on debris nets and personal protective equipment to reduce damage from falling humans or objects. People on the ground or below are in harms way.
Here’s a startling fact: An 8-lb wrench that falls 200 feet would hit someone on the ground with a force equal to 2,833-lbs per square inch, similar to a small car hitting a one square inch area. The whole goal of fall protection is to create a connection point for humans working at different heights. Tools need connection points as well. Examples include d-ring cords, tool cinch attachments, lanyards and wristbands. Additionally, falling objects are a risk because a person has a natural reaction to try and catch a falling object. The worker could lose balance and fall.
Have you thought about the risks of falling objects? Here are a few questions to ask yourself: