Injury claims can have more than financial effects on a company or small business. Production, performance, and day to day activities are adversely affected when trained and valuable employees are absent, or unable to perform regular activities due to an injury. A safe and healthy workplace is not only ethical but the only way to reduce WSIB premiums and avoid costly surcharges.
Slips trips and falls account for 20% of all lost time injuries in Ontario and has consistently been one of the leading causes for WSIB claims each year. These injuries can range from mild superficial injuries to severe disability or even death. Approximately 17 000 lost time injuries and 20 deaths are recorded each year in Ontario as the result of a fall at work. Each year falls consistently are to blame for the most fatalities within the construction industry.
Injuries caused by “slips” and “trips” can often be a housekeeping issue or can be addressed with manual materials handling training or policy modification. When workers work from elevated heights or from ladders and scaffold the resolution is a little more complicated and involves a proactive rather than reactive approach. Falls do occur but they can be prevented if they are considered before they occur.
Fall protection is not just necessary when working at heights greater than 3 meters. When using ladders or work platforms workers must be trained and competent in their use and placement. Scissor lifts and booms require workers to be trained and competent in the units operation and to wear fall protection equipment. When working from heights the conditions and situations often change so the equipment, training and written procedures must correspond with these changes.
The Act and its regulations are a guideline and considered the minimum level of protection that must be provided at a workplace. It’s one thing to have a well written plan but to implement it, have the workers properly trained and providing the ideal equipment can sometimes be a challenge. The use of fall protection equipment is a skill, the selection of the proper equipment that will provide the adequate protection requires knowledge, and developing the emergency actions required by legislation takes expertise.
A complete fall protection program typically contains the following criteria
- Assessment of the dangers and identification of the fall hazards.
- Develop a policy and program
- Determine the most appropriate type of protection
- Select the correct equipment
- Train everyone involved
- Perform regular inspection and maintenance
- Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance, monitor your program in order to improve.
- Develop a site and situation specific plan that is correct for each site and each situation.
CBHM can assist you in developing these policies and provide the appropriate training necessary to ensure compliance as well as competence. Our trainers haveindustry specific experience, knowledge of the equipment and understanding of the regulations. For details on our programs contact us at 1-866-461-CBHM (2246) or visit us at www.yoursafetyexperts.com.