Tag Archives: fall protection

Fall Protection Lifelines Cut

Fall Protection Lifelines Cut by Exposed Edges – DOSH Hazard Alert

Fall protection lifelines cut by exposed edges have occurred in two separate accidents. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) recently issued an hazard alert directed to all employers and workers who rely on personal fall arrest systems. The following information was provided by DOSH.

DOSH Hazard Alert

This alert was developed by L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to alert employers, labor groups, and employees to potential hazards associated with work activities. This is not a rule and creates no new legal obligations. The information provided includes suggested guidance on how to avoid workplace hazards and describes relevant mandatory safety and health rules. DOSH recommends you also check the related rules for additional requirements.

Fall protection lifelines cut – a real and deadly risk

In Washington State, two workers fell to their deaths due to their self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) being severed in separate fall incidents. The lifelines had been anchored horizontally (i.e., at a level below the harness D-ring.

One incident involved a steel-cable lifeline that was severed when it contacted the edge of formwork made of steel plates.ƒ The other incident occurred when a nylon webbing lifeline was severed after contacting sharp, abrasive edges along a beveled wall.

Evidence from investigations of each incident indicated damage to lifelines occurred during the fall, not before. In both cases, manufacturers of the lifelines warned about using SRLs around edges that could damage the lifeline or prevent the SRL from effectively arresting the fall. Although the incidents described involved SLRs, non-SLRs (e.g., lanyard and rope, webbing, or cable) have similar risk.

Employers are required to address this risk per WAC 296-155-24613(1)(e), “You must protect all safety lines and lanyards against being cut or abraded”.

How to prevent this from happening at your jobsite

Any open side or edge of a floor, roof, deck, platform, or formwork creates a condition in which a lifeline could contact an edge and be severed in the event of a fall. To protect workers who use lifelines:

  • Identify and document all potentially hazardous edges during your walk-around safety inspections at the jobsite.
  • When possible, avoid working in areas where lifelines could contact potentially hazardous edges should a fall occur. ƒ
  • Anchor lifelines vertically overhead, whenever possible, to prevent the lifeline from contacting an edge and to minimize swing falls (or the pendulum effect) that can abrade and cut lifelines. In addition, make sure workers stay within a safe working distance from the overhead anchor point. ƒ

When a fall could occur over an edge:

  • Select and provide lifelines designed specifically for the
    application and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Protect lifelines against being cut or abraded by covering the edge with a protective material.
  • Address potentially hazardous edges and protective measures for lifelines in your Fall Protection Work Plan.
  • Routinely inspect lifelines and other fall protection equipment before each use.

Instruct crews on:

  • The use and limitations of the fall protection equipment provided.
  • Where potentially hazardous edges are located.
  • Why they need to protect lifelines when working around exposed edges and how to do that.

Share this alert with crews to reinforce awareness of this safety issue.

Other resources you can access

View the full alert here.

OSHA’s Top 10 Violations for 2018 revealed at National Safety Council Congress and Expo

Today’s post comes from guest author Paul J. McAndrew, Jr., from Paul McAndrew Law Firm.

Today’s post comes from our colleagues at WorkersCompensation.com

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2018. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the Top 10 on the Expo floor as part of the 2018 NSC Congress and Expo, the world’s largest annual gathering of safety professionals.

While the rankings for OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations vary little from year to year, violation No. 10 on this year’s list, “Eye and Face Protection” (1926.102), was not on the 2017 list.

“Knowing how workers are hurt can go a long way toward keeping them safe,” said National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The OSHA Top 10 list calls out areas that require increased vigilance to ensure everyone goes home safely each day.”

The Top 10 for FY 2018* are:

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)

7,270

2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200)

4,552

3. Scaffolding (1926.451)

3,336

4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134)

3,118

5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)

2,944

6. Ladders (1926.1053)

2,812

7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)

2,294

8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503)

1,982

9. Machine Guarding (1910.212)

1,972

10. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102)

1,536

A more in-depth look at the Top 10 violations for 2018 will be published in the December edition of the Council’s Safety+Health magazine.

*Preliminary figures as of Oct. 1, 2018

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

Why Do Roofers Fall From Roofs? Is it just because of gravity?

Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law.

This is a timely post as I just received notice that the Department of Labor and Industries investigated a fraud case against an employer in Lake Stevens, WA that did not cover his employees for workers’ compensation. This was not the first time the Department had contact with this employer for this same issue, either. This time, charges were filed and the employer was sentenced to sixty days in jail, converted to house arrest.

Roofers, of all workers, need their workers’ compensation coverage!

Today I received an urgent call from attorney representing a client in New Jersey who fell from a roof. Before she told me the job description of the injured worker, now in a coma, I correctly anticipated that it was probably a roofer who had fallen from a roof, yet again.

This scenario has played out in workers’ compensation claims for decades. How the accident happened is usually an argument with the employer. The employer claims that the employee was either intoxicated or not following safety precautions. My instinct always tell me that this is probably incorrect, since roofers tend to lose their balance and fall for many other reasons, including “gravity.”  Some reason a deprivation of oxygen and/or exposure to toxic neurological irritants contained in the roofing materials, and weather related events that make roofs slippery.

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