Posted on: 29 December 2014Share
If you work in an industrial setting where heights are involved, chances are that you will be asked to take a fall protection training course. Employers place heavy emphasis on fall prevention because falls represent a large percentage of accidental deaths in the workplace. In fact, falls accounted for 36.9% of fatal construction accidents in 2013 alone. However, construction sites aren't the only place where you can sustain serious injuries because of a rickety ladder. Here are two things that every homeowner can learn from industrial fall protection training:
1: Eliminate the Hazard
Staying safe in an inherently unsafe environment is one thing, but employers typically focus on eliminating hazards in the first place. For example, instead of training their workers to retrieve stored inventory from an overhead, retailers might decide to keep merchandise in the back room at ground level. Here are a few ways you can eliminate falling hazards around your home and yard:
- Hire a Professional: If you are a proactive person, you might decide to grab your ladder to trim those trees or hang holiday lights. Unfortunately, falls can happen in an instant, especially if weather conditions are less than ideal. Instead of braving new heights, consider hiring a professional who has the right equipment for the job. Landscapers can use truck lifts to scale tall trees, and professional maintenance men understand how to anchor themselves to roofing structures to avoid dangerous spills.
- Use Ice Melt: Have you ever slipped and fell on slick ice around your driveway or sidewalk? To avoid the problem, store ice melt and a small scoop near your garage or front porch. Sprinkle salt before and after snowstorms to melt the ice and prevent falls.
- Know Your Limits: That roof might not have been a problem for you twenty years ago, but how is your balance and footing these days? To eliminate falling hazards, think carefully about your physical limits. If you have health problems that limit your mobility, never try to do something that might be challenging for an able-bodied individual. Know your limits, and call in professional help if you need it.
As you tackle jobs around your home and yard, weigh the risks and identify falling hazards. By proactively addressing potential dangers, you might be able to avoid getting into a bad situation.
2: Know How to Fall The Right Way
Although abstaining from falls altogether is ideal, workers sometimes find themselves in situations where falls are inevitable. However, a simple slip doesn't have to become a painful disaster. By thinking quickly and moving your body into certain positions, you might be able to reduce impact and limit personal injury. Here are a few tips for falling the right way:
- Keep Your Head Up: You can have that broken arm reset or that anklebone fused back together, but sustaining a serious brain injury is another story. When you fall, focus on keeping your head up. If you are falling on your back, tuck your head against your chin and put your hands behind your head to cushion the fall.
- Relax: As you begin your descent, your muscles can tense up. Unfortunately, falling with contracted muscles can actually be harder on your body because your tissues will absorb the impact. Try to breathe out when you fall, which will naturally relax your body and help you to avoid serious injury.
- Curl Up: Believe it or not, curling up your body can actually decrease the height of your fall, because your head will be closer to the ground. If you know that you are going to take a tumble, bring your knees to your chest and fold up your body to mitigate damage.
Knowing how to reduce your risk and take a fall might help you to walk away from bad accidents, or avoid them altogether.