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Fall Protection

Your crew is on the roof? What can be expected if a WSBC inspector stops by for a visit?

From Andrew Kidd and Jaret Swanson, WSBC Residential Construction Inspection Officers in North Vancouver:

  • If you are not tied off, they will stop the work.

  • If your fall protection gear is damaged, they will confiscate the gear. Note: the labels on the gear must still be intact to pass inspection.

  • Have fall hazards been correctly identified?

  • Does the employer have an effective system to ensure that workers are protected from the hazards associated with falls from elevations?

  • Has an effective fall protection plan been developed? You must be able to explain your plan when working from any heights.

  • If you are over 25’, has this plan been written down?

  • Have the workers been instructed in this plan and do they understand it?

  • Have workers been adequately trained in the fall protection system they are to use? The evidence is that they are following the plan correctly.

  • Are workers being adequately supervised?

  • Does the General Contractor have an effective system to ensure that these requirements are being coordinated and met at this worksite? A G.C. needs to take responsibility for what is happening on site.

Advice from WSBC inspectors to the General Contractors:

“You are taking responsibility for someone going into a dangerous situation. You need to know that they are able to deal with it!”

If there is an accident on site, an employer will be asked whether or not the workers have been trained to perform the work. Quiz your sub-trades on their training process. Fall protection is not a certification; it is training. Providing a wallet card that states that a worker is trained in fall protection is not sufficient. The evidence is in the knowledge and actions of the worker. When inspecting the site, inspect your sub-trades fall protection gear. Quiz them on their fall protection plan. Monitor their activities to see that they are following the plan. Training needs to be reflected in the actions of the worker.

It takes one second to fall 16′

It takes 1.5 seconds to fall 36′

Plan to not fall.

Posted on: November 24th, 2011 by admin Comments

Critical tasks

Here are two critical tasks to be aware of on the worksite in terms of WSBC:

1. Falls:
The most frequent and most severe injuries are occurring from falls. Falls from ladders, falls from heights, falls from scaffolds, falls from everywhere. People are falling and they are getting hurt. We need to work on fall protection. WSBC has very little tolerance for working from heights without fall protection. They are looking for guard rails and for covered openings. They want to see safe work platforms in place. Every contractor that I know is struggling with creating effective fall plans.

Let’s open up a discussion for best practices for working at heights.

How do you keep your crews off of the top plate?

2. Excavations:
Excavating is the other big problem identified by WSBC. There is a very high incidence of hits on gas lines. There are issues of lack of standards in gas line installation and obtaining accurate locates. Combined with excavator operators who are not following guidelines about hand digging around lines to expose, WSBC is being called almost daily for gas line hits.

A B.C. municipality just had a major incident where a worker hit a gas line and created a pool of gas that seeped into the sewer, the electrical boxes and pooled in the ground. This had the potential for a catastrophe equivalent to the gas fire in Nairobi this summer. The City is freaked out!!!

Is your company calling in for locates? Is your locate information accurate?

Enter a comment below and discuss!

Posted on: November 24th, 2011 by admin Comments

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