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How to Fit, Wear, and Inspect your Fall Protection Gear

ST. PAUL, Minn. – “According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fall protection violations once again topped the list for 2015 with 7,402 total violations.”

“Safety isn’t something that can be bought. It’s a culture […]. Too often companies invest in safety after a tragic event occurs. Although most companies [sic] recognize the hazards of working at heights, the next step is for them to [recognize] that fall protection and dropped object prevention must be addressed before—not after—an incident, to help improve the personal safety of workers while working at heights.”

In this article, which first appeared in CoatingsPro Magazine in the May 2016 issue, authors Mark Caldwell and Tim Thompson address the importance of using fall protection equipment—for people and for tools—properly. Moreover, they emphasize the importance of going beyond just providing the right safety equipment for a worker’s fall-arrest system but also to provide education and other equipment that may be needed to help workers be safe. They outline six steps to follow when using fall protection equipment for tools, considerations for aerial lift use, and close by highlighting five key takeaways. In calendar year 2014, of the 4,386 worker fatalities, one in five deaths were in construction, according to OSHA’s Commonly Used Statistics. Caldwell and Thompson suggest that “the key to continuing to lower these numbers in 2016 and beyond is worker training and support.”

Read “How to fit, wear, and inspect your fall protection gear” to see how you can help reduce falls.

Mark Caldwell, director of Fall Protection for Tools at 3M Fall Protection, is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of dropped object solutions. Tim Thompson, global product manager for soft goods at 3M Fall Protection, is responsible for safety harnesses, lanyards, belts, and accessories of the DBI-SALA® and Protecta® brands.