What are the causes of ladder falls?
Ladder fall injuries are a persistent hazard both in the workplace and at home. There are five major causes for extension-ladder fall incidents:
Selection of a ladder with the proper duty-rating is also critical to avoid structural failure. However, knowledge on proper ladder selection is lacking among many ladder users, and this important safety step is frequently ignored.
Regular inspection and maintenance are good practices to reduce the likelihood of ladder structural failure, however, quick and easy access to ladder safety checklists is not always available.
Inappropriate and unsafe ladder user behavior is associated with many ladder fall incidents. Activities such as overreaching, carrying objects, applying excessive force, slips and missteps are also frequent causes of ladder-related fall injuries.
Finally, small companies that account for up to 80% of all construction companies, and individual ladder users, such as homeowners, do not typically receive the required training for safe use of extension ladders. Such ladder users are difficult to reach, often do not have access to safety information, and generally lack the resources to develop or follow an effective ladder safety program.
How big is the problem of ladder falls?
Falls-from-ladders are a leading cause of fall injury and death. In the US, more than 500,000 people a year are treated, and about 300 people die, from ladder-related fall injuries. The estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the US is $11 billion, including work loss, medical, legal, liability, and pain and suffering expenses. Recent analysis of data from three surveillance systems showed that in 2011, work-related ladder fall injuries in the US resulted in 113 fatalities, an estimated 15,460 nonfatal injuries that involved days away from work, and an estimated 34,000 nonfatal injuries treated in emergency departments. Workers who are male, Hispanic, older, self-employed, work in smaller establishments, and work doing construction, maintenance, and repair experience higher ladder fall injury rates. There is a pressing need to address the serious problem of ladder-related falls and to reduce the resulting injury and death.
Cal/OSHA is announcing that it is deploying investigators to construction sites throughout the state "to determine whether adequate measures have been taken to identify safety hazards and prevent injury." Expect aggressive enforcement.
Investigators will be specifically checking safety railings, personal fall protection devices and equipment, and tie-offs. Cal/OSHA also will be looking for trench hazards, equipment safety and proximity to power lines. Cal/OSHA reminds employers that if it finds a lack of fall protection or serious hazards, it can issue a stop-work order at the site, which will be in force until the hazard is abated. Employers deemed to be in violation safety standards also will be cited and ordered to correct the violations.
Cal/OSHA is reacting to a series of recent fatal falls at construction sites around California - and in advance of planned national safety "stand-down" on fall hazards next week - has the Division of Occupational Safety and Health fanning out to inspect worksites and puts employers on notice to pay attention to fall protection.
Three workers have died in the past two weeks and another survived with injuries. They include a May 18 fatality in Riverside when a worker tied off to a train bridge being dismantled rode down when the section toppled; a May 20 incident in San Mateo where a worker fell nine feet from a wall; and a May 21 death in San Jose where a worker unloading sheetrock from the third story of a building under construction fell over a railing from a sheetrock stack.
Nationally, falls are the leading cause of death in construction.
ASSE 2014 Orlando: Seminar #818: Emergency Preparedness, Planning and Response
Seminar Date: Thursday June 12th, 2014
This workshop will provide a practical approach to planning, preparing and responding to an emergency.
Topics covered include: OSHA/EPA/DOT requirements, training, written programs, checklists, Emergency Response Teams (ERT), evacuations, fire, hazmat, medical emergency, earthquake, tornado, bomb threat, incident command, NIMS, drills, equipment, inspection, post fall rescue, confined space rescue, record keeping, and more.
Credit: 1 Day / .7 CEU
ASSE 2014 Orlando: Seminar # 915: Lockout/Tagout (LO/TO) A-Z
Seminar Date: Friday June 13
Last year, OSHA most frequently gave citations in manufacturing for violation of LOTO (29CFR1910.147). This standard regulates the servicing and maintenance of equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment, or release of stored energy could cause an injury.
In this seminar, you will learn the A to Z on compliance with this regulation through the development and implementation of a practical written LOTO program, LOTO training program (initial and refresher) as well as equipment- specific LOTO procedures for equipment that does not meet the OSHA eight-point exclusion. You will also have a hands-on opportunity to test a wide range of LOTO devices.
Credit: 1 Day / .7 CEU
Three cheers for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber for coming to the aid of an unconscious woman on a Portland street on Monday, May 5.
According to a story in the Oregonian, the governor was en route to dinner and asked his driver to stop when he saw the woman lying on the side of the road.
Aside from being governor, Kitzhaber is also a former emergency room doctor and has used his medical knowledge more than once while in office.
The scene played out in the classic combination of contacting 911, performing CPR until help arrives, and then using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to give someone that second chance.
Gov. Kitzhaber is one of a number of governors who have stepped up to assist in an emergency. Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger saved a drowning man at a Maui resort in 2004, while former governor and president Ronald Reagan saved more than 70 people during his teen years as a summer lifeguard. Mike Huckabee, once Arkansas’s governor, came to the aid of another politician when that gentleman was choking at a luncheon. Huckabee was able to dislodge to obstruction with some abdominal thrusts.
Thank you to all these heroes for taking the time out of their incredibly busy schedules to come to the aid of a citizen in need. They are an inspiration to us all.
(Reprinted from American Safety and Health Institute)
Enviro Safetech is a leading Environmental, Health and Safety consulting company founded in 1990 and located in San Jose, California.