New Braunfels, TX, May 3, 2023
Leading into the summer, the months of May and June are significant in regard to safety. At the beginning of the May, there is a National Safety Stand down where the focus of the stand down is orientated around Fall Protection. With this topic being at the forefront of our minds, we would like to take the time to talk about fall protection with 3 key points in mind: identifying hazards, creating a plan, and executing that plan.
IDENTIFY ALL HAZARDS
We cannot stress enough on just how important filling out a JHA or JSA is prior to the start of work. Creating a JHA/JSA is an opportunity to identify key hazards. It could be common ones like skylights/holes in the roof, or potential for dropped objects on bystanders. Or it can be case-by-case scenarios like a bird’s nest or environmental hazards. Regardless of the occurrence or potential consequence of the hazard, it is important to note them within the JHA/JSA and communicate them to your crew. By noting those important notices, it creates awareness of the situation and helps us pull together a plan.
CREATE A PLAN
Virtually, a JHA/JSA is a multitude of plans combined into one document for the purposes of mitigating the hazards that were identified as directed in the previous bullet point. One of those plans is a fall protection plan. A fall protection plan identifies key items like anchorage points, fall arrest options, an egress plan, as well as a rescue plan. By identifying those four items, you can significantly shorten the duration of a potential rescue. It also helps assist you and your crew by noting potential areas where your free fall can become excessive. When writing your fall protection plan, it may feel at times that there is “no good option” when working in some tricky environments. In these situations, we highly encourage you all to contact your local safety representative with your issue, to help you find a solution.
EXECUTE THE PLAN
At this point, all the paperwork is done, and it’s time to put the plan into action. You have communicated the scope of work, the hazards in and around the site, the plan to get from point A to Point B, your anchorages, fall arrest options, means of egress and rescue plan. When the plan is complete, it should feel very fluid when the work is being conducted. Everyone on site seems to have a specific task and is working like a well-oiled machine. Instead of having the perception that the JHA is something hindering your work, try thinking that the JHA is simply a great opportunity to write out your plan for the day. There is separation in preparation.
If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at email@example.com, and we will get you taken care of.