Identification of fall hazards is the first step in implementing a fall protection program. A hazard may be present as a result of poorly planned work platforms, inadequate guardrails, questionable work practices, difficult access or incorrect equipment. Some work may not be in compliance with local health and safety legislation. Other situations may be dangerous or may not be acceptable industry practices.
A hazard assessment is initiated with a visit from a impartial investigator that will inspect work areas with potential hazards and interview personnel that are knowledgeable about work procedures. Through a combination of drawings, notes, photos and video the investigator documents the hazards and recommends hazard controls.
A follow up report provides general comments on the primary areas of concern and explains how the company can work towards compliance issues and improving the safety of the workplace. Each observed hazard is described with reference made to legislative requirements. Recommendations may include upgrading work platforms, establishing egress points, adding handrails, platforms or ladders, using portable fall arrest equipment or engineering a fall arrest system.
The benefits of hiring an outside consultant include:
- interpret current regulatory requirements
- clarify priorities
- implement cost effective control measures
- recommend simple changes in work procedures
- unbiased equipment recommendations
- training strategies
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