Published on January 4, 2008
Preventing slips, trips and falls: Preventing slips, trips and falls Objectives: Objectives List the leading causes of slips, trips and falls in an office or industrial setting. List the leading causes of slips, trips and falls in a construction setting. List the steps in preventing slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Definitions: Definitions Slip – To slide involuntarily and lose one's balance or foothold Trip – A stumble or fall, usually at the same level Fall – To lose an upright or erect position suddenly; this can be to the same level or a different level 2007 fatalities by accident type: 2007 fatalities by accident type *Current numbers from Jan. 1, 2007, to July 31, 2007 The regulations: The regulations 1910.21 - Definitions 1910.22 - General requirements 1910.23 - Guarding floor and wall openings and holes 1910.24 - Fixed industrial stairs 1910.25 - Portable wood ladders 1910.26 - Portable metal ladders 1910.27 - Fixed ladders 1910.28 - Safety requirements for scaffolding 1910.29 - Manually propelled mobile ladder stands and scaffolds (towers) 1910.30 - Other working surfaces 1910 Subpart D - Authority for 1910 Subpart D Office environments: Office environments Floor coverings – such as rugs, mats and carpets – should be in good repair and lay flat on the floor. Close drawers when not in use. Securely fasten telephone, computer and extension cords out of the way. Properly store or dispose of boxes, files, papers and other material that can end up on the floor. Walking and working surfaces: Walking and working surfaces Keep aisles and passageways clear and in good repair with no obstructions across or in aisles that could create a hazard. Mark permanent aisles and passageways appropriately. Where mechanical handling equipment is used, aisles should be sufficiently wide. Improper aisle widths coupled with poor housekeeping and vehicle traffic can cause injury to employees, damage equipment and material, and can block emergency pathways. General requirementsCovers and guardrails: General requirements Covers and guardrails Provide covers and/or guardrails to protect workers from the hazards of open pits, tanks, vats, ditches and the like. Protect skylights to prevent workers from falling through them. General requirementsFloor loading protection: General requirements Floor loading protection Mark load-rating limits on plates and post conspicuously. It is unlawful to place, or cause, or permit to be placed, on any floor or roof of a building or other structure, a load greater than that for which the floor or roof is approved. Determining an opening : Determining an opening Floor hole: An opening measuring less than 12 inches but more than 1 inch in its smallest dimension – in any floor, platform, pavement or yard – through which materials but not workers may fall. Floor opening: An opening measuring 12 inches or more in its smallest dimension – in any floor, platform, pavement or yard – through which workers may fall. Platform: A working space elevated above the surrounding floor or ground for workers. Wall hole: An opening less than 30 inches but more than 1 inch high, of unrestricted width, in any wall or partition. Wall opening: An opening at least 30 inches high and 18 inches wide, in any wall or partition, through which workers may fall. Protection for floor openings: Protection for floor openings Provide standard railings on all exposed sides of a stairway opening, except at the stairway entrance. For infrequently used stairways, where traffic across the opening prevents the use of a fixed standard railing, the guard shall consist of a hinged floor opening cover of standard strength and construction along with removable standard railings on all exposed sides, except at the stairway entrance. Protection for floor openings: Protection for floor openings A standard railing consists of a top rail, mid rail and posts. It should have a vertical height of 42 inches nominal from the upper surface of the top rail to the floor, platform, runway or ramp level. The nominal height of a mid rail is 21 inches. A standard toeboard is 4 inches nominal in vertical height, with not more than ¼-inch clearance above floor level. Protection for floor openings: Protection for floor openings Floor openings may be covered rather than guarded with rails. When the floor opening cover is removed: Put a temporary guardrail in place, or; Station an attendant at the opening to warn personnel. Guard every floor hole into which workers can accidentally walk by either: A standard railing with toeboard, or; A floor hole cover of standard strength and construction. Protection of open-sided floors and platforms: Protection of open-sided floors and platforms Guard every open-sided floor or platform 4 feet or more above adjacent floor/ground level by a standard railing on all open sides. Except where there is an entrance to a ramp, stairway or fixed ladder Provide the railing with a toeboard wherever, beneath the open sides: Persons can pass; There is moving machinery; There is equipment with which falling materials could create a hazard. Protection of open-sided floors and platforms: Protection of open-sided floors and platforms Regardless of height, open-sided floors, walkways, platforms or runways above or adjacent to dangerous equipment, guard pickling or galvanizing tanks, degreasing units and similar hazards with a standard railing and toeboard. Stairway railings and guards: Stairway railings and guards Every flight of stairs with four or more risers will have standard stair railings or standard handrails. On stairways less than 44 inches wide having both sides enclosed, affix at least one handrail, preferably on the right side descending. On stairways less than 44 inches wide with one open side, affix at least one stair rail on the open side. On stairways less than 44 inches wide having both sides open, provide two stair rails, one for each side. On stairways more than 44 inches wide, but less than 88 inches, provide one handrail on each enclosed side and one stair rail on each open side. On stairways 88 inches or more in width, provide one handrail on each enclosed side, one stair rail on each open side and one intermediate stair rail placed approximately in the middle of the stairs. Standard stair railing: Standard stair railing The vertical height will be no more than 34 inches nor less than 30 inches from the upper surface of the top rail to the surface of the tread. Mount the lengthwise member directly on a wall or partition by means of brackets attached to the lower side of the handrail to keep a smooth, unobstructed surface along the top and both sides of the handrail. The supports for the rail will be 3 inches from the wall and be no more than 8 feet apart. The height of handrails will be no more than 34 inches nor less than 30 inches from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread Fixed industrial stairs: Fixed industrial stairs Provide fixed industrial stairs for access to and from places of work where operations necessitate regular travel between levels. OSHA requirements include: Fixed industrial stairs strong enough to carry five times the normal anticipated live load; At the very minimum, any fixed stairway will safely carry a moving concentrated load of 1,000 pounds; All fixed stairways will have a minimum width of 22 inches; Fixed stairs will be installed at angles to the horizontal of between 30 degrees and 50 degrees; Vertical clearance above any stair tread to an overhead obstruction will be at least 7 feet measured from the leading edge of the tread. Inspecting stairs: Inspecting stairs Handrails and stair rails A. Lack of B. Placement C. Smoothness of surface D. Strength E. Clearance between rail and wall or other object Treads: A. Strength B. Slip resistance C. Dimensions D. Evenness of surface E. Visibility of leading edge Inspecting stairs: Inspecting stairs Improper/inadequate design, construction or location of staircases Wet, slippery, or damaged walking or grasping surfaces Improper illumination ... there is no general OSHA standard for illumination levels. Consult the Illuminating Engineering Society’s publications for recommendations. Poor housekeeping Use of ladders: Use of ladders Place ladders with a secure footing, or lash/hold them in position. Extend ladders used to gain access to a roof or other area at least 3 feet above the point of support. Do not use the top of a regular stepladder as a step. Use both hands when climbing or descending ladders. Never use metal ladders near electrical equipment. Use of ladders: Use of ladders Use the foot of a ladder, where possible, at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is one-quarter of the working length of the ladder (the length along the ladder between the foot and the support). Use of ladders: Use of ladders Always face the ladder when climbing up or down. Do not splice short ladders together to make long ladders. Never work on ladders placed in the horizontal position as scaffolds or work platforms. Introduction to fall protection: Introduction to fall protection A basic introduction to fall protection Fall protection standards in general industry: Fall protection standards in general industry 1910.23: Guarding floor and wall openings and holes 1910.66: Powered platforms for building maintenance App. A: Guidelines (advisory) App. C: Personal fall-arrest system (Section I - mandatory; Sections II and III - non-mandatory) 1910.132: General requirements (personal protective equipment) 1910.269: Electric power generation, transmission and distribution References 1926 subpart M and contains additional requirements for fall protection Frequently cited violations: Frequently cited violations Failure to protect workers from falls of 6 feet or more off unprotected sides or edges, e.g. floors and roofs. (1926.501(b)(1); (b)(10); and (b)(11)) Failure to protect workers from falling into or through holes and openings in floors and walls. (1926.501(b)(4) and (b)(14)) Failure to provide guardrails on runways and ramps where workers are exposed to falls of 6 feet or more to a lower level. (1926.501(b)(6)) Work positioning systems: Work positioning systems These systems are designed to hold and sustain the user at a work location and limit the free fall to 2 feet or less, as in rebar work or tree trimming. Below are examples of typical components of a work positioning system. Body support: Full-body harness Connecting component: Chain or web rebar assembly, rope or web lanyard Anchorage connector: Carabiner or snap hook Anchorage: Rebar or support structure Restraint systems: Restraint systems These are systems designed to prevent the user from reaching an area where free fall could occur so no free fall is possible, as in leading edge roof work. Below are elements and examples of restraint systems. Body support: Full-body harness or body belt Connecting component: Rope or web lanyard Anchorage connector: Carabiner, tie-off adapter, roof anchor Anchorage: Beam or support structure Rescue systems: Rescue systems These systems are designed to raise or lower a user to safety in the event of an emergency, so no free fall is possible (i.e. confined space work). Below are the four elements of a rescue system and examples: Body support: Full-body harness Connecting component: Lifeline (winch, self-retracting lifeline) and Y-lanyard Anchorage connector: Tripod, davit arm Anchorage: Support structure or surface Fall arrest : Fall arrest These systems are designed to stop a free fall of up to 6 feet, and limit the maximum forces of a user to 1,800 pounds or less, as in steel erection or elevated maintenance work. Below are the four elements of a fall-arrest system and examples. Body support: Full-body harness Connecting component: Shock-absorbing lanyard, self-retracting lifeline, rope grab Anchorage connector: Carabiner, tie-off adapter, trolley, roof anchor Anchorage: Beam or support structure Suspension system: Suspension system These systems support and suspend the user while being transported up or down vertically and will not allow a free fall. Below are elements and examples of suspension systems. Body support: Full-body harness and a boatswain's chair Connecting component: Lifeline (rope, rescue positioning device) rope or web lanyard Anchorage connector: Carabiner, tripod, davit arm tie-off adapter Anchorage: Beam or support structure or surface A typical fall-arrest arrangement: A typical fall-arrest arrangement A typical system consists of: An anchorage connector; A shock-absorbing lanyard; A full-body harness. You must attach the anchorage connector must to a suitable and strong attachment point. Requirements for personal fall-arrest system: Requirements for personal fall-arrest system Limit maximum arresting force on a worker to 900 pounds (4 KiloNewtons) when used with a body belt. Limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 KiloNewtons) when used with a body harness. Be rigged so that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) nor contact any lower level. Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.07 meters). Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of an employee free falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8 meters) or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less. Common pieces of equipment: Common pieces of equipment Shock-absorbing lanyard Self-retracting lifelines Rope and cable grabs Carabiners Full-body harness Cross-arm strap Use of body belts: Use of body belts Effective Jan. 1, 1998, body belts are prohibited as a fall-arrest device. You can use body belts as a positioning device. Dee-rings and snap hooks: Dee-rings and snap hooks Dee-rings and snaphooks must have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 KiloNewtons). Proof-test dee-rings and snaphooks to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds (16 KiloNewtons) without cracking, breaking or suffering permanent deformation. Personal protective equipment: Personal protective equipment Proper shoes are a major consideration in many operations. The nature of the walking surface should dictate the type of footwear needed to increase traction and reduce the potential for slips, trips and falls. Oil, water and other liquids, as well as dusts, pellets and other small solids may require special footwear as well as special housekeeping and engineering design to reduce the potential for slips, trips and falls. Additional training: Additional training Extensive training is needed to fully understand and use much of the fall-protection equipment available. A competent person must evaluate work conditions to ensure safety when working in elevated locations. Most manufacturers provide very extensive programs in fall protection. General requirementshousekeeping: General requirements housekeeping Keep all places of employment, passageways, storerooms and service rooms clean and orderly, and in a sanitary condition. Maintain the floor of every workroom in a clean and (so far as possible) dry condition. Where wet processes are used, maintain drainage and gratings, and provide mats or raised platforms. Keep every floor, working place and passageway free from protruding nails, splinters, holes or loose boards. General requirementshousekeeping: General requirements housekeeping Place equipment needed for housekeeping, such as mops, absorbents, brooms and trash containers, in locations where they are frequently used and kept available. All levels of the organization should practice good housekeeping measures whenever a condition is noted that could results in a slip, trip or fall. Human factors : Eyesight Age Balance Medications, alcohol and drug effects Human factors Summary: Summary It is important to properly engineer walking and working surfaces to avoid the potential for slips, trips and falls. Use proper fall-protection systems when working on elevated surfaces. Obtain and use proper personal protective equipment to reduce the potential for falls. Management should implement good housekeeping practices and ensure its done on a regular basis. Train employees in the prevention of slips, trips and falls. Questions?: Questions?