Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is The Height Of My Fall Protection Guardrail That Important?

As you know, in the construction industry, we are required to use fall protection when a worker is exposed to a fall of 6' or more to a lower level.  When your choice of fall protection is to use a guardrail, the toprail of the guardrail is required to be set at 42", plus or minus 3".  That means the highest you can legally set your toprail of the guardrail system would be 45" and the lowest you can legally set it would be 39".  Is it that important?  If my toprail is set at 36", is that good enough?  The answer is no!  OSHA recently issued a citation to a contractor that had an employee working at a commercial project next to a window sill.  The window sill height was 36".  The contractor should have installed a secured 2 x 4 or secured some other form of an approved guardrail across the window opening somewhere between the 39" to 45" height level.  Doing so would have saved this contractor from an OSHA citation. 
Please don't let this happen to you or to our company.  Please remember that the top rail of your guardrail system must be at the correct height.  The toprail of a guardrail must also be able to withstand 200 lbs of outward and downward force and the guardrail system must also have a midrail in place.  Should you have any questions about fall protection, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tapers - Sanding Safety and PPE!

One of our tapers asked me a question last Friday about what personal protective equipment is required when sanding.  He asked if we require safety glasses while sanding? The answer is yes!  Besides our requirement for wearing hard hats and work boots 100% of the time while on job sites, we also require tapers to wear safety glasses and dust masks while sanding.  The safety glasses are to help prevent dust from getting into your eyes.  Dust in the eyes does not seem like a big deal but it can be a costly one that is easily preventable.  Medical care costs are out of control and having to go to the doctor to get your eyes flushed out to remove dust can easily cost $500.00.  A pair of safety glasses cost about $2.00 and we provide them to our employees free of charge.  The safety glasses we provide are anti-fog so you should be able to see through them even when the humidity is high.  If safety glasses aren't offering you enough protection from dust, you can also wear safety goggles which we have available to you free of charge.  If you are sanding and you need either safety glasses or safety goggles, ask your Foreman if he/she has them in the gangbox. If your Foreman does not have them on site, then contact your Superintendent or our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689 and we will get them to you typically the same day or in one business day.  You only have one set up eyes so make sure you protect them!
Have a Safe Day!