According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the metal manufacturing workforce in America oscillates around 380,000 workers. And the steel industry, in particular, continues to attract more and more employees as it develops. It’s easy to see why: in 2018, global steel production shot up by 4.6 percent compared to the previous year. And according to Trading Economics, steel production in the United States has increased by about 300 metric tons from June to July 2019 alone!
The Occupational Health & Safety Administration makes it abundantly clear—roof fall protection is non-negotiable. But even with OSHA’s strict requirements, you still have some options when it comes to fall protection systems. This is because every job site is different, and the risk of falling presents itself in different ways from site to site. For example, roof slope, holes and hatches in the roof, and where the leading edge is in relation to the work zone can present different challenges. Fortunately, with options like safety railings, horizontal lifelines, safety nets, and more, you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to choosing the right fall protection systems for your workspace.
Over the past few years, OSHA has been steadily increasing the frequency of its inspections. OSHA carried out more inspections than ever in 2018 (32,000) and recently, Secretary of Labor Jim Acosta went on record saying that he "fully expects inspections to increase" in 2019.
Fueled by the government shutdown and coincidental retirements, OSHA's overall employee numbers were lower in 2018 than the year before. But, they still managed to carry out more inspections. This year, they have already committed to hiring 27 additional full-time inspectors — and they expect to hire 67 by the end of the year. When these new employees are trained and ready-to-inspect worksites, the overall presence of OSHA is going to be even more visible.
If you’re a safety manager, keeping your employees healthy and safe is a top priority. To serve that purpose (and to avoid hefty fines), staying compliant with the OSHA regulations on fall protection should be a top priority, especially on commercial rooftops. Fortunately, there are several OSHA-approved solutions available that make staying compliant simple. Since each situation is different, your fall protection system needs to match your individual requirements. Let’s take a look at the two main ways to keep your team out of harm’s way and how you can choose the right system for the job.
Roof fall protection is important all year long. But when construction crews and facility managers often have bigger workloads during the warm summer months they hire seasonal workers to help them manage the increased demand. These workers are invaluable to the company and the project, but they may not be as experienced as your full-time employees—and they may not be as familiar with your company's fall safety precautions and the industry's regulations.
It's essential to bring your seasonal workers up to speed on OSHA regulations, and how to stay safe while working at height on a construction site or while doing maintenance work on an existing facility. Here's how to train these seasonal employees so your entire crew can enjoy a safe work environment.
The food and beverage industry is a massive market, both in the United States and across the globe. Food processing and packaging facilities, representing a large sector of this industry, struggle daily with protecting workers from safety hazards. And one huge concern safety managers in this industry deal with is providing adequate fall protection systems on our facilities’ rooftops when work and maintenance requires employees to go up on them. Installing a guard rail or life line system ensures that you and your workers stay safe at all times. Yet not all fall protection systems work in the same way, meaning that different roofs require different systems for maximum safety.
The variety of different options can be confusing to navigate — even for seasoned safety professionals. If you would like to increase your knowledge about the best type of protection system for your facility’s roof, keep reading. This article outlines four of the most common protection systems currently on the market, as well as the particular applications of each one.
If your building has rooftop access or elevated walkways, you might have a fall risk or two on your hands. To stay compliant with OSHA, not to mention keep your employees and visitors safe, you’re going to need a guardrail system. But let’s say you don’t access these areas very often. Or perhaps your workers are extremely sure-footed. Or maybe you’ve got some pretty serious chops when it comes to DIY projects. It might be tempting to just go ahead and build your own guardrails. Right?
Wrong. Unless you are fully trained on the specific requirements for guardrails, it can be a much more elaborate endeavor than you anticipated. Nonetheless, if you’re still thinking about building your own, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you add yet another job to your to-do list.
Leading Edges: a regulatory term for a very real risk that every construction manager, laborer, or facilities maintenance worker understands too well. As a reminder, a leading edge is an unprotected edge and side of a floor, roof, or other walking/working surfaces which changes location as additional floor, roof, or formwork sections are placed. While a part of every job site (and theoretically, every building, period), they present a risk for even the most seasoned workers.
In this article, we’re exploring the different types of leading edges your team might encounter, along with other considerations, and how safety guard rails can protect them.
To keep your workers safe—and comply with OSHA's fall protection guidelines—you must provide rooftop guardrails for crews working at elevations of six feet or more. Recognizing the necessity for fall protection systems is the first step towards workplace safety, but OSHA compliance requires extra diligence, in-depth knowledge, and preventative troubleshooting.
From years of experience with OSHA's regulations, we know that certain aspects of safety rails can present unforeseen challenges for safety managers. To help, we've compiled a list of the six most common mistakes we have seen. Additionally, we provide some actionable solutions to these common mistakes—and hope to help provide better protection for you, your workers, and your equipment.
Ladder safety continues to be one key element in keeping your facility running smoothly and without incident. Government safety regulations clearly dictate the basic rules you must follow when it comes to placing and using ladders, and you'll want to follow these regulations at a bare minimum. In addition, as with any possible access to restricted areas, ladders can represent security concerns if left unattended and unguarded. Today, we will look at a few ways to secure the ladders in your workplace, in order to keep your workers and equipment safe.