Safety Topic: Falls from a height

Sep 23, 2021
Written by wpengine
When learning someone “fell from a height,” your first thought might be that they fell off a ladder, which is common. However, there are many other ways to fall from a height, such as falling off a loading dock, the back of a truck, or a staircase.
As with all hazards, the first step in controlling falls is to identify and analyze where fall hazards exist at your workplace. Once those are identified, strategize solutions to either fix or make employees aware of the change in elevation and potential hazard risk. Keep in mind:
  • Most falls from a ladder happen on the way down and usually from less than 10 feet high. Exercise more caution as you descend the ladder.
  • Stair noses should be marked yellow to designate each step. When using stairs, also use the handrails.
  • The tailgate area on trucks can also be marked to warn of proximity to an edge.
  • Loading docks – when the door is left open, put some type of temporary railing or indicator in place.
  • And, the most obvious: People should pay attention to what they are doing and their surroundings!
Any opportunity you have to designate that raised edge or change in level is present can help to reduce injuries due to this type of fall. To assist with your safety meetings, more information about this and other topics is available in the RS Safety Library. RS SafetyTV also has videos about falls.
Rick Means is Director of Safety and Education is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected]