Are Your Employees Trained in Winter Fall Protection Strategies?

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It is that time of year when the differences between regions can be very different. While Arizona residents complain about the chilly 75-degree weather while riding in golf carts, New York residents cope with a light dusting of 7.5 inches of snow. And while the differences in temperatures may be great, some things are exactly the same. Whether you live in Arizona or New York, businesses have to make sure that they train their employees to be safe at work.

As Temperatures Change, Workplace Safety Must Too

Temperature differences do not change the need for all businesses to make sure that their employees and customers are safe. And while some aspects of workplace safety, like OSHA fall protection rules, are constant, employees still need to be ready to adapt to the unique hazards of their region. Workers in the North and Midwest must understand how rigging equipment and slings will perform in icy conditions. They may also require extra safety gear, like heavy duty work boots and gloves. In the same way, workers in the Southwest may require extra breaks or hydration when summer temperatures hit the triple digits.

Yet despite these regional variations, the fundamentals of fall protection training and safety remains largely the same.

No Matter the Season, OSHA Rules Remain the Same

There’s a reason employers often require workers to enroll in OSHA fall protection training, and it’s not purely out of a concern for their well being (although we hope that plays a role). For construction workers, roofers, builders, and many other workers that work from great heights, there are certain workplace safety rules that apply. Failure to complete fall arrest training or ignoring rigging equipment can lead to heavy fines, not to mention serious injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates these issues. This includes things like explaining exactly how wire rope slings should be used, setting guidelines for what training classes should include, as well as the frequency that these classes should be offered. While OSHA outlines step by step lessons and provides resources for workplace safety, employers can also hire a third-party company that offers certification courses and fall protection training.

So no matter where workers live, they still have to abide by OSHA’s consistent three-step process to prevent dangerous falls: plan, provide, and train. Left to their own safety training standards, companies across the country could elect to train or not to train their employees in safety measures. Since its inception in the early 1900s, however, the purpose of OSHA has been to keep workers safe while they are on the job, whether they work in Arizona or New York.

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