In any given workplace, the employees take on an important role to keep the industry going. Thus, the human task force is indeed essential. The welfare and safety of employees must be given much attention especially those who do hazardous jobs. Lives of those who work in the construction industry are at risk in many ways. They face the danger of falling from buildings and experiencing other accidents as well. In this aspect, the employer and the employees should then feel the gravity of knowing the rules and regulations of OSHA.
Awareness of the rules doesn’t end with just knowing; one should be able to understand all details encompassed by the standards of OSHA. The OSHA system serves as the cornerstones of safety at the workplace. Somehow, it is right to say that abiding by the system is obligatory. In the article by Richard Epp, all those mentioned earlier were tackled and the real deal behind fall protection was the highlight of the research. Common questions regarding the topic were given clarifications. The standards of the construction safety of OSH still have loopholes which give rise to confusions.
Some safety rules do not touch minor details of a certain accident that may not be listed as part of the laid down examples. At first, construction companies might think that it is easy to bear with the rules. Compliance isn’t going to be an issue, comprehension is. The message of the rules must be conveyed in a clear manner to both parties that will use The managers or even SH&E professionals may be familiar with the construction aspects of OSH but some practice rules that were just made up from misapprehension. And, if such misconceptions worked out on a specific incident, then those will be used again as solutions next time around.
The managers and the SH&E professionals should not be blamed though for employing misconceptions especially if the situation calls for an immediate solution. There’s so much to dwell on when it comes to work hazards but fall protection will be given the spotlight since it covers a wide scope of facts and issues in OS&H topics. Therefore, the dilemma comes in on whether to blame the rules or the people who should be implementing it. The article focuses on the correction of errors about fall protection took on a holistic approach. Each applicable rule was dissected so to see important points.
The first misconception that was debunked as that the rules 29 CFR 1910 & 29 CFR 1926 are similar A common error like this can be avoided with proper basic knowledge. The two rules are different in terms of task involved. A distinct fall protection will be used for the general industry and another one for the construction industry. In order to avoid false assumptions, a revision was done in which alternate fall protection can be used. The breach was omitted but it must be noted that there are still obvious differences between the two rules.
The next false belief is that a safe zone exists if there is a distance of 6 feet away from the edge. Many issues were conceived from this myth since it is very dangerous to assume such rule. Specific requirements like the time when a fall protection system should be applied, the type of guard rails, slope of the roof, the concept of “first man up” and the correct use of warning lines were set. The third subject matter, which is the fall restraint, was concluded as neither a myth nor a misinterpretation of a rule. Fall restraint entails the use of an apparatus that will be attached to the body of the person to avoid falling.
It was delineated that fall restraint can be used in both general and construction industry given that the right lanyard and anchorage will be worked with. The fourth construction practice which is the use of portable ladders contrived to ideas of misapprehensions. Ladders are very useful indeed in a construction or industry site. Fall protection is not necessary as long as the worker is within the requirements of a portable ladder. But if the ladder did not satisfy the prerequisites, fall protection must be done, contrary to the false belief.
Another false idea is that there is confidence of safety when one puts on a harness and hook up. Among the myths that were discussed, this is the most dangerous of all. Accidents happen when workers attach the lanyard to SRL (self-retracting line). The horizontal lifeline should also be post tensioned to minimize fall distance. On the other hand, grab speed should be considered when using the vertical lifeline. The last misconception is taking on rescue planning. A fast rescue should be done to the worker who has been in a suspended state after a fall.
The employer is responsible for incorporating the rescue plan as part of the work program. Since there is no OSHA requirement about rescue planning, it is still the employer’s role to prioritize the safety of the workers. The focal points in the article were basically about the common questions about OSHA rules. Hence, a brighter light was dawned upon the uncertainties on which is right or wrong in comprehending the rules. After evaluating the article, there is a realization that the rules of OSHA do have a bearing on every work at the general or construction industry.
A life might be lost if carelessness happens at the site. Carelessness might be caused by not knowing the basics. General knowledge is sometimes taken for granted since the specifics are put to use more often. Both the worker and employer should keep in mind that familiarity with the rules is one step to assuring safety at the workplace. One cannot really memorize the rules so certain measures should be done by the employer to fill in the gaps. A better approach would be having a session for the workers to inculcate right comprehension of the regulations.
A drill for rescue planning can also be incorporated as part of a team building activity and for the workers to able to do application of the seminar. When accidents happen, the blame shouldn’t be put alone on the loophole of the rules and to the SH&E professionals. Further investigation should be done on whether the worker failed to use equipment properly or the accident simply happened. A biannual assessment by the OS&H can also be implemented to check on sites and assist complaints. Initially, awareness about the OSHA system is tough responsibility for the employer.
A root-cause analysis would be applicable in knowing why certain misconceptions come about. To start off, the workers shouldn’t only be hired because of need of immediate hiring. Some workers may have great skills but lack comprehension about the rules. If and when these workers are hired, accidents might happen due to unfamiliarity of the rules. A clear work plan must also be established to establish false practices about fall protection. Once a mistake was committed by the employee, the employer should correct him to avoid repetitive errors.
The employees must feel that measures for safety protection are for their own sake and other co- workers as well. For the employer, he himself must know the twists and turns of protection practices at the work place so he can stand-in when needed. Another cause is that some work are done haphazardly that is why accidents happen. Fall protection should really be part of the work but it will not serve its purpose at all if there is recklessness. Fall protection is already a worn out concept for the members of the construction industry.
But the concept should never be treated as just another simple requirement at work. The safety of workers does lie in the hands of having correct fall protection. The workers should be valued not because their jobs are life threatening but because the employer minds their safety. In any workplace, welfare of the employees should really be prioritized as part of work ethics. In the construction industry, the employees face both unknown and known dangers. One should fulfill responsibilities at work to avoid accidents that might lead to tragic work endings. Hence, every task must be taken with heed and caution.