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1 Walking-Working Surfaces: Preventing Falls

2 Introduction Slips, trips, and falls make up the majority of the accidents that occur in workplaces in general industry. People have been injured falling from platforms, ladders, scaffolds, and other types of working surfaces. Slips, trips, and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths at work.

3 General Requirements Housekeeping is key to preventing falls. In order to avoid slipping or tripping, you should: Keep your work area clean, orderly and in a sanitary condition. Ensure that the floors are clean and dry. Prevent loose boards – especially those with nails and splinters – from accumulating in your work area.

4 General Requirements Never use mechanical handling equipment in aisles that are too narrow. Keep aisles and passageways clear of items that could create a hazard. Do not work around open pits or ditches unless they have guardrails or covers. There are numerous other ways to manage fall hazards.

5 Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes OSHA has many requirements to help prevent falls. In this section, we’ll review some of them. To prevent falling off platforms or through wall openings and holes, the following are required to be installed: Stairway floor openings must be guarded by a standard railing on all exposed sides. Ladderway floor openings or platforms must be guarded by a standard railing with standard toeboard on all exposed sides. Ladderway Floor opening

6 Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes Wall openings with a drop of 4 feet or more must be guarded by a rail or equivalent barrier. A removable toeboard must be in place to prevent objects from falling to the ground below. Wall opening

7 Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes Open sided floors, platforms, or runways that are 4 feet or more above the ground must be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides. A toeboard must be provided if: –someone can pass beneath. –there is moving machinery. –there is equipment with which falling objects could create a hazard. Unguarded platform

8 Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes Regardless of height, a standard railing and toeboard must be used to guard: open-sided floors walkways platforms runways that are above or next to dangerous equipment or similar hazards.

9 Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes Every flight of stairs having four or more risers (steps) must be equipped with standard stair railings or standard handrails.

10 Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes A standard railing must have a top rail, mid-rail, and posts. A stair railing must be between 30 inches and 34 inches high. A standard toeboard must be 4 inches in height.

11 Fixed Industrial Stairs Fixed industrial stairs are provided when a person’s job requires frequent travel between levels. OSHA requires that fixed industrial stairs must: Be able to carry five times the expected load with a minimum of with 1000 pounds. Be at least 22 inches wide. Have slip resistant treads.

12 Portable Ladders The most common hazard when using a ladder is falling. A poorly designed, maintained, or improperly used ladder may collapse during use. The following safe work practices can help you stay safe on wood and metal ladders: Inspect ladders on a regular basis. Never use a defective ladder. Do not use a ladder with broken or missing rungs. Do not stand on the top rung.

13 Portable Ladders To safely gain access to a roof, the top of the ladder must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support and be situated on the ground a quarter of the height of the building away.

14 Portable Ladders To help you StartSafe and StaySafe when working with ladders, always apply the following safe work practices: Select the right ladder for the job. Inspect the ladder before you use it. Never use a metal ladder near live electrical equipment. Setup the ladder carefully and securely. Climb and descend the ladder cautiously. Never try to move or shift a ladder while you are on it.

15 Fixed Ladders Fixed ladders are permanently attached to a structure, building, or equipment. In order to work safely: Fixed ladders must be strong enough to carry a load of 200 pounds. Rungs, cleats, and steps must not have splinters, sharp edges, burrs, or other hazardous projections. Safety devices such as cages, landings platforms, or safety harnesses may be required.

16 Safety Requirements for Scaffolding While there are a variety of different types of scaffolds, there are some general safety requirements that apply to all scaffolds: The footing or anchorage must be able to support the intended load without displacement. Scaffold components must be able to carrying 4 times the intended load.

17 Scaffolds must be maintained in good condition. Damaged or weakened scaffolds must not be used until repaired. Scaffold must not be loaded beyond its capacity. Scaffold must have access ladder or equivalent. Railings and toeboards must be on all open sides and ends of platforms 10 feet or more in height. Safety Requirements for Scaffolding

18 Other working surfaces Understanding that there are different types of working surfaces can help you StaySafe at work. Dockboards are an often overlooked working surface. OSHA’s requirements for dockboards or dockplates are: Must be strong enough to support the load. Must be in place secured in position. Must be equipped with anti-slip devices. Hand holds or other methods will be provided for portable dockboards.

19 Summary Good housekeeping is very important. Keep working surfaces clean, dry, and uncluttered. Clean up spills immediately. Provide warning signs for wet floor areas. Make sure floor and wall openings are properly guarded. Inspect and use ladders properly. Do not work on a scaffold until you have been trained. Knowing how to prevent falls in the workplace is key to helping you StartSafe and StaySafe. Below are some of the key points you learned about preventing falls:

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