Tag: safety

Safety Over 40 Years


Adding safety into the ladder design is key to reducing injuries

A UK newspaper recently traced ladder safety over the course of 40 years. The article talks about how the focus on ladder safety has changed over the years.

The article mentions that falls are the largest single cause of deaths, with the top killer being falls from roofs, ladders and stepladders during maintenance. Ladders not secured or footed also led to a number of injuries.

Safety Over the Years

So, have ladders gotten any safer over the last forty years? Ladder injuries have not decreased significantly in the last forty years, the design of the ladder hasn’t changed much either. Well, until the last few years that is. Over the last few years, the ladder’s design has been changing to add safety to the engineering. Hopefully, these new designs will reduce ladder accidents and injuries as more and more people switch to use the safer designs.

Fatal Accidents in 2013

Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers, processes, and then publishes a huge amount. One of the topics that catches attention is the information regarding fatal incidents on job sites. This is a very serious subject but 2013 proved to be the lowest number of fatal accidents in 11 years at 4,405 deaths. Transportation incidents account for the highest cause at 40% but falls are still high at 16%.

One of the data graphs released covers the subject of Falls from a range of heights. This graph shows that three out of every five falls was from a height below twenty feet and that 11% were below six feet. Seeing the data represented in such a simple fashion does not fully convey the importance. At 11% there were almost 60 fall related deaths where the individual fell six feet or less, a surprising number for such a short fall. The rest of the data only adds weight to the importance of keeping people safe when they are working from any height.

From fall restraint systems to using the right ladder for the job, there are any number of methods to help diminish the number of Fall related deaths

Fatal Accident Statistics for 2013

You can find the statistics here or for more of their graphics you can look here.

Why Accident Investigation is Important

training younger workersOSHA recently reported that there were nearly 4,000 deaths last year surrounding work place accidents and three million individuals were injured in work-related accidents. This is an alarming number and demonstrates why accident investigations are important.

Accident investigations are crucial and help prevent or correct situations where workers could be harmed or injured. The National Safety Council defines an accident as “an undesired event that results in personal injury or property damage.”

There is not a defined set of guidelines on how to conduct an accident investigation. An investigation should generally be as thorough as the seriousness of the accident or event.

Aspects of a Good Accident Investigation

For an investigation to be conducted correctly, the correct person should be leading it. Safety officers, a union representative, or members of the safety committee would be good choices to lead the investigation. The person chosen should have an expert-level knowledge of the environment in which the accident occurred.

It is important to train supervisors or safety investigators the aspects of a successful investigation and how it can prevent further accidents. Training topics could include:

  • How the scene of an accident should be surveyed
  • Who to contact in case of an emergency and how to tend to injured persons
  • How to protect the evidence of the scene
  • Determining the cause of the accident
  • How to analyze the data involved
  • Filling out an accurate and thorough accident report
  • Following up to ensure policies have been implemented to correct the problem going forward

Accidents occur frequently on job sites. Many are caused while attempting to complete dangerous jobs or by the materials being used. Some come from environmental conditions, personal choices or decisions, or simply a lack of training. The important thing to remember in conducting an accident investigation is to understand and aim to prevent the cause of an accident, not to find the guilty party.





Helpful Safety Blogs

blogsA couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about the extra training resources you can utilize. This week, I want to write about some of the great blogs you can use to help you get ideas for training.

There are plenty of companies and organizations that have safety blogs with great information. Most of them don’t focus specifically on ladder safety and fall prevention. Instead, the sites cover a variety of safety topics and have a handful of posts about ladder safety and/or fall prevention.

My Safety Blogs

Occupational Health & Safety

The OH&S blog has loads of great articles about safety concerns around the workplace. The best part about OH&S is it has a section dedicated to fall protection. This section has loads of great articles and examples of people not taking the proper fall prevention precautions.

Simplified Safety

Simplified Safety sells fall protection and safety equipment. On their site, they also have great articles for combatting common (and not so common) workplace safety concerns. The blog has reviews on various products. It also has tips for being safe in various workplace situations.

Work Safety Blog

The Work Safety Blog covers all sorts of topics in relation to safety in the workplace. Topics range from eye protection to protective clothing to fall safety. If you are looking for a blog as a one-stop for all your safety concerns, the Work Safety Blog is a great option.

My Safe Work

MySafeWork.com is a blog created by Jessica DiSabatino and Rob Ellis, popular speakers in the health and safety field. The blog has some great interviews of safety professionals and interviews of those impacted by an on-the-job accident. The site also has tips for training young people to be safe. There are loads of categories to choose from, and many of them are applicable to fall prevention and general workplace safety.

I have found these blogs to be helpful when researching and looking for good fall protection topics to explore. I hope you find these blogs as valuable as I have. What safety blogs do you enjoy reading?

Summer Safety: how to keep your team safe when it’s warm

summer safety

Photo used with permission from Rakan Al-Hamrani

With Independence Day coming up this weekend, summer is in high swing, and summer safety should be too. Unfortunately, however, safety sometimes gets put on hold in the summer. Do you ever find yourself saying any of the following while at work?

-It’s too hot.

-I want to get this job done so I can go home.

-When I get off work I’m going to ________. (Thinking of the fun things you are doing after work, instead of the job on hand)

-Let’s be out here for as little time as possible so we can get out of the heat.

-We check everything every other time, so if we don’t do it this one time, we will be ok.

No Excuses for Safety

The kids are out of school, the weather is nice, the days are long, and it can be easy to make excuses to not follow the safety procedures. So what can help keep us motivated to remember the guidelines?

Be Consistent

One of the easiest ways to be safe is by being consistent. Never make excuses for not following safety guidelines, and make sure your team knows you won’t accept excuses either. If your team knows you won’t accept any excuse, regardless of the circumstance, they will be more likely to be consistent.

Create a Rewards System

People love being rewarded for doing good work. If you recognize the potential to forget safety precautions and then create a program to encourage the memory, your team will be more motivated to remember. You could create a team goal for having no injuries for a certain number of days or create any other program or you could provide an incentive based on limiting unnecessary safety risks.

Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World has a program like that in the summer months. Between the restaurants in the park, there is a safety competition that all cast members become a part of. At the beginning of the summer, managers provide a meeting with safety reminders. The reminders continue over the course of the summer. At the end of the summer, the restaurant with the highest number of days without a work-related accident get a  prize, usually a company lunch or something of equivalent value.

Creating a program such as the one in Magic Kingdom helps employees be accountable not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of their fellow employees. Having something fun and different from the day to day work can also help during the summer months.

Hopefully you and your team can be safe this summer. Whether you put a rewards system in place or just are consistent with the safety guidelines, be safe out there!


Do you have a safety program you have implemented? Comment below with what you did with your team!

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