This informative is Part 2 of an OSHA Survival Guide series where our Operations Manager, Greg Brown, breaks down the ‘5 Reasons Your Workers Don’t Wear Fall Protection’, and the ‘3 Things You Can Do to Improve Compliance Immediately’. The purpose of this series isn’t to call out one particular person or group responsible for the non-compliance with fall protection precautions, but rather to educate readers on the potential obstacles in their way and offer many solutions to educate and improve safety overall. The following are three key things that you can implement right now to improve Fall Protection compliance on your jobsite.
Understanding what is required by OSHA and other regulatory bodies might seem like the most difficult thing you can do to improve fall protection compliance immediately on your jobsite…
You’ve seen OSHA language on several subjects, you Google what it means, and you get ads and people who want you to pay them to get your program right, interpret OSHA regulations for you, and all that. But did you know that the basic requirements for Fall Protection are covered in less than 10 one-sided pages?
Despite what some may say, OSHA does a great job at simplifying their expectations, and allowing employers to develop plans that work. There is no catch, no unachievable feat, and it’s something that a focused safety professional can be efficient with very quickly. If you don’t believe me, take the 30 minutes it takes to read EVERYTHING on Fall Protection requirements by OSHA and let me know what you think!
You need to know if you’re working with other regulatory bodies as well. Check and see if your state has its own Safety & Health Administration and take that into consideration as well.
If you understand the language, you can apply it to your plan, and simplify it to your workers. That makes the execution of fall protection precautions so much easier.
No need for a show of hands, but how many times have you shoved that old safety VCR tape in and left the room?
Your workers aren’t learning anything that way. Let’s be honest, they’re searching the conference room for snacks and taking a quick nap! Educating your employees must be more than checking a box, passing around a sign-up sheet, and filing it away in case those OSHA guys come looking for your documentation.
Employees need to read and have access to OSHA subparts that pertain to them. They need to walk the jobsite, be a part of the hazard analysis, have a formal preparation of the work they’ll be responsible for, and training with the gear they’ll need to do it safely. You have to have a dialogue with them, ask a few questions to make sure they fully understand the hazards, make it interactive. Educate your crew about what happens if they work unsafely, make them think about the consequences that their families will have to endure, and what could happen to the company if citations are written and business must stop. Show them how awesome it is to complete a project with no injuries, and what rewards can be achieved by a job-well-done.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to recognize an Authorized Person on the site. If you’re the Competent Person on your jobsite, you should know your who Authorized Persons are and make sure they are representing that position fully.
It is SO MUCH FUN to sit in your office and pick apart posts on LinkedIn. The air temperature is regulated, chairs are comfortable, the bathrooms are inside. Actually, a big part of your job is in the office if you’re a safety professional today, so I apologize for going a little hard there. I went there because the biggest impact you have is on-site. Being visible is good for everyone out there. The safety guy has all the newest gadgets, hard hat stickers, and he can score you a packet of the newest Squincher flavor.
Being visible shows your employees that you are invested in the work, not just the safety, but the success of the job and the company. Let the Authorized folks see you working with the site leadership to do things quickly, efficiently, and safely. If you show up only when it’s time to inspect, you won’t have the safety record you want. Your workers will see your truck or see you walking down the aisle and know they have to be on top of their game for as long as you’re doing your standard work and then they can do it the way they want.
When you’re visible, and invested in the work, you’ll see the workers do it how they want as well, but they’ll want to work safely! Your presence on-site and your engagement with workers is the ultimate key to a well-performing safety plan.
If you understand your requirements, train workers on those requirements, and show up to make sure the first two are being done, you will see huge improvements. Your employees will wear their fall protection, I guarantee it!