August 7, 2006 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Fall Protection – NOT

 Photo Images Images-101-150 Photo143



Photo from the

Naval Safety Center web site

http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/photo/archive/archive_101-150/photo143.htm

At a recent course one of the students brought an example for an exercise that reminded me of this picture. There were only three differences:

1. The employee used the scissor lift to tighten a bolt. (The bolt was beyond his reach so he climbed up on the railing.)

2. He was wearing fall protection but he didn’t hook up. (The job would just take a second.)

3. He slipped, fell, and was killed.

Getting people to work safely at heights requires managers’ and supervisors’ attention.

Yes, people should be careful.

Yes, people should follow the rules.

Yes, people are responsible for their own safety.

But we know that people take shortcuts to save time and effort.

We know that people react to real and perceived pressure to “Get ‘er done!”

We know that if management and supervision don’t show their concern by consistent enforcement (both positive and negative enforcement) of the rules, people will start to ignore them.

Thus management must insist that the rules are followed and develop a program to make sure that they are followed.

If your company has people working at heights, ask yourself:

HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT

PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING THE RULES

ABOUT WORKING AT HEIGHTS?

Good, proactive enforcement of the rules can prevent accidents. You won’t have to analyze the root causes of a fatality if you prevent it by enforcing the rules!

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