Don’t take a fall – here’s how to protect yourself
Every day on the job a construction worker is killed by a fall and about 40 are seriously injured. You could easily be one of them. All it takes is a slip or trip and down you go.
When you land, it can be with a force of over 8,000 pounds, easily enough to break a leg or arm or your back or cause a skull fracture. You could be out of work with little to no income for your family.
Here is what you can do:
1. Wear a full body harness and make sure it is snug. A belt is not going to protect you.
2. Connect the harness to a lifeline or lanyard. It should be long enough to do your work but not too long so it will stop you from hitting the ground.
3. Connect the lifeline to an anchor on the roof. The anchor should be nailed in or screwed into a rafter according to manufacturers’ instructions. Make sure it is in securely so it will not come out if you fall.
4. Try to keep the roof clear of obstacles that might cause a slip or trip.
5. Plan the work to avoid tangled lines.
6. Make sure ladders are secure (top and bottom), at the proper angle (1'– 4' ratio), on firm footing and extend 3' beyond the roof edge to make it easy to get on and off.
7. Keep three points of contact on the ladder when climbing and always face the ladder going up and down.
8. Never carry anything in your hands when climbing a ladder. Use a hoist to get materials and tools up and down.