How To Effectively Train Your Employees To Prevent Falls
Preventing falls is a matter of life and death. Every year, hundreds of workers die from falling off ladders and other equipment. You can avoid such fatal workplace accidents by formulating a safe plan of action, meeting OSHA fall protection requirements for ladders, and training all employees on fall prevention strategies.
OSHA Ladder Safety Overview
Before you train employees on fall protection procedures, it is important to ensure that your workplace meets all OSHA fall protection requirements for ladders. Last year OSHA updated their ladder safety regulations. Here is a quick overview of the current fall protection guidelines, highlighting key procedures and requirements:
- Maintain three points of contact
- Place the ladder on level footing
- Always face the ladder
- Secure the ladder by locking the metal braces at the center of the ladder
- Don’t overreach
- Don’t walk the ladder
- Ladders over 24 feet no longer require cages
- Fixed ladders over 24 feet require personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)
Check here for more details about meeting OSHA fall protection requirements for ladders.
Employee Training Tips
Just like any training, teaching your employees about adequate fall protection requires preparation and the involvement of employees in the health and safety of the workplace. Some employers have supervisors provide the training, however studies have shown that peer-to-peer training is effective and well-retained. Regardless, when you talk to your employees about fall protection, keep in mind that the training should be short, participatory, and easy to follow.
OSHA provides detailed instructions on fall protection training, which is broken into small sessions called Toolbox Talks. These cover various fall prevention topics and are designed to last approximately 5-10 minutes. This means Toolbox Talks can be given at meetings before work or during breaks. Even the busiest work day can accommodate necessary fall protection training.
Safety meetings are most effective when the whole crew actively participates. This makes the learning more engaging and increases the chances that people will remember the information. Here are some ways to encourage everyone to get involved:
- Ask questions instead of simply giving them the information. After you ask a question, wait a short time to let people think. Then ask them to share their thoughts with a partner. Lastly, call on volunteers to answer.
- Ask about personal experience. This can help make the topic relevant to the group. You could ask: Has anyone here fallen off a ladder or had a close call? What happened?
- Make sure everyone has a chance to speak. If one employee is talking too much, invite someone else to speak.
- Never make fun of anyone or put anyone down, especially for asking questions.
Easy to follow.
Remember to stick to the given topic. If an employee’s questions or comments wander too far off topic, tell them that their concerns can be addressed later, either one-on-one or in a future meeting. Also, use the resources in the OSHA training guide, such as the posters or wallet cards, to provide employees with quick, easy reminders throughout the workplace.
Design Components Can Help Keep You Safe
Consider Design Components as your resource for helping you become compliant to OSHA fall protection requirements for ladders. The team at Design Components is ready to work alongside you to help your business and answer your fall protection questions.