Learn fall protection and prevention! Attend a BWC stand-down event

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

In 2017, there were 971 construction fatalities nationwide; 366 of them resulted from falls from elevation.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) again lists fall protection in construction as its most frequently cited standard.

To raise awareness and reduce injuries and fatalities, OSHA promotes its annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls. The stand-down encourages employers across the nation to hold events in conjunction with the multi-day event, May 6-10 this year. As always, the stand-down encourages employers to pause during their workday for topic discussions, safety demonstrations, and trainings in hazard recognition and fall prevention.

We have scheduled four FREE training events open to the public during the week of the stand-down. We’ve listed information for each below.

Garfield Heights event

  • When: 8 a.m. to Noon May 7
  • Where: BWC’s Garfield Heights Service Office – 4800 E. 131st, Garfield Heights, OH 44131
  • Event details: Presentations by experts from T. Allen Incorporated, The Albert M. Higley Co., Werner Ladder, Honeywell and the Cleveland OSHA Area Office
  • Register: Visit the BWC Learning Center and enter Stand-Down Event in the search field then enroll for the Garfield Heights event.

 Mansfield event

  • When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 7
  • Where: MHS Industrial Supply – 70 Sawyer Parkway, Mansfield, OH 44903
  • Event details: Presentation by experts from FallTech; co-hosted by MHS Industrial Supply
  • Register: Visit the BWC Learning Center and enter Stand-Down Event in the search field then enroll for the Mansfield event.

 Pickerington event

  • When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 10
  • Where: BWC’s Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health – 13430 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147
  • Event details: Presentations by experts from Guardian Fall Protection, LBJ Inc. and the Columbus OSHA Area Office
  • Register: Visit the BWC Learning Center and enter Stand-Down Event in the search field then enroll for the Pickerington event.

Youngstown event

  • When: 7:30 – 9 a.m. May 7
  • Where: Boak & Sons, Incorporated – 75 Victoria Road, Austintown, OH 44515
  • Event details: Presentation by experts from 3M and a drop demonstration truck; co-hosted by Boak & Sons, Incorporated
  • Register: Email David Costantino or call 330-301-5825; email David Loughner or call 216-538-9720

We may add more events in the coming weeks. Also, don’t forget the BWC Library offers an extensive collection of audiovisual materials related to fall hazards and fall prevention. Additionally, we offer year-round classes throughout Ohio to address fall protection requirements.

It’s not too late for your company or organization to plan a stand-down event. We’re here if you need help planning your activity. Just call 1-800-644-6292 for assistance.

Shoveling a roof???

By Cari Gray, CSP, BWC Safety Consultant Specialist

That’s right, you read the title correctly – so it’s cold and wintery and the dreaded four-letter word, S-N-O-W, just hit most of Ohio hard.

So, what’s a person to do when the snow and ice keep coming and coming, and the precipitation is piling up on your roof? Well, I will tell you what you don’t do … don’t go up there. You know snow and ice is slippery – I know you know that – so stay off the roof.

I wish I did not have to discuss this one, but look on the internet yourself – all you need to do is a quick search, and you will see many incidents and injuries associated with … shoveling a roof … yep … I said it …

So, what can you do? The answer is to start before the weather turns bad. Be sure your roof and gutters are in good shape. Have a roofing contractor do an inspection of your roof if you have concerns and deal with issues immediately – don’t wait for bad weather.

If the snow and ice build up too much (most recommendations are more than 6-12 inches), consider investing in a roof rake (with rollers or bumpers so you don’t scrape the shingles) and a long extension handle and do the job from the ground.

But, when wielding a long metal pole and swinging it around – keep in mind the other “shocking” safety hazard of overhead power lines. Also, be careful of pulling a big heavy chunk of snow or ice onto your head (or any part of your body). I assume I don’t need to explain that one.

If doing it yourself isn’t possible, hire a professional to help. But use caution, some contractors are better than others (read this blog about contractors – safe at work / safe at home).

If you are a “professional” and you are hired to remove snow from your clients’ roof, be sure of a few things. One, you have a program for fall protection and fall prevention. Also, have the proper training for this hazardous task. Try to remove the snow while staying on the ground as detailed above. If that isn’t possible, make sure you are familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations for working at heights.

Finally, make sure you have proper protective equipment, such as warm layers of clothing, gloves and slip resistant boots or cleats.

Our “safety things we did this summer” report

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Kids will soon be going back to school and writing essays about the things they did this summer. It’s a fun way for them to recap some of the highlights of those long summer days before jumping into the grind of the new school year. We thought we’d do the same in this post!

We’ll start with the past few weeks and our time at the Ohio State Fair. For the second year in a row, we had a booth in the Bricker Marketplace to highlight safety at work and at home. We got the message out about our Be Safe Ohio campaign to thousands of fairgoers in the booth and with our sponsorship of the iconic Sky Glider. We even handed out bottles of water and Beat the Heat cards to attendees as they were leaving the fair on one of the days.

Fairgoers of all ages were excited to stop by our booth to try their hand at Safety Plinko. Children were especially eager to play for safety prizes, including fans, earplugs and the always popular colorful safety glasses. In less than two weeks, our representatives handed out hundreds of informational pamphlets and thousands of safety giveaways to everyone from preschoolers to grandparents.

Once again, the state fair was a great opportunity for us to reach the public and educate Ohioans on ways to protect themselves on and off the clock.

Safety Day at the Zoo
Earlier this summer, we participated in Safety Day at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo. The event – organized by the Greater Cleveland Safety Council – gave us the chance to get our message of safety and wellness out to zoo visitors. It was a picture-perfect day and we got to interact with hundreds of parents and children, giving them tips on staying safe and healthy.

Trench Safety Stand-Down
In late June, we hosted or participated in several trenching safety training events in conjunction with the National Utility Contractors Association’s 2018 Trench Safety Stand-Down. This included training events in Erie County, Toledo, Cincinnati and Summit County.

The Summit County event provided classroom training followed up with a review of the information covered in the class while conducting digging of a trench and installing a trench box.

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls
We kicked off the summer with training opportunities during the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in May. Our fall prevention training included events at:

  • Our Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health in Pickerington.
  • At Boak & Sons in the Youngstown area.
  • Our Garfield Heights Customer Service Office.

Events like these are critical for stemming the tide of falls in the workplace. Nearly 30 percent of all claims filed with BWC are from fall injuries, and falls in Ohio result in an average of 14 fatalities a year.

Thanks to everyone who attended our trainings or who stopped by to see us at various stops this summer. We got a lot out of these interactions and we hope you did too!

Doing our part to prevent falls

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Eight-hundred forty-nine: That’s the number of workers in the U.S. who didn’t make it home in 2016 because they died from a fall at work. That’s the most ever recorded in the U.S. in one year.

Stats like this are why there is a National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls. The stand-down, happening May 7-11, provides an opportunity for employers and their workers to focus on fall hazards and to reinforce the importance of fall prevention. This can include anything from a brief toolbox talk to full-blown training.

On Monday, we hosted dozens of workers for fall prevention training at our Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health in Pickerington.

Matt Patterson, a territory manager from Guardian Fall Protection, started with an informative presentation highlighting: 

  • Ways to eliminate hazards;
  • Determining the equipment needed for a job;
  • The importance of inspecting fall protection gear.

He reiterated, “You should be inspecting the entire personal fall arrest system every time you use it.” The training also reminded attendees that even falls from 6 to 10 feet can be deadly. It also highlighted that falls from roofs and ladders account for more than 50 percent of deadly falls.

Larry Johnson, the area director of the Columbus office for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was on-hand as well. He said, “OHSA’s goal is to have workers go home the same as they arrived at work each day.”

After the classroom portion of the training, attendees moved outdoors for a demonstration of the physical forces falls can put on the body.

The demonstration, led by Patterson, showed how various fall arrest equipment works and how to properly don a body harness.

Attendee Joe Fulcher, a maintenance director with a Zanesville company, said the course was a helpful refresher. “If you do something long enough, you can get complacent, this was a good reminder of how to do things safely and correctly,” he said.

Our Garfield Heights Claims Office hosted a stand-down event for 25 attendees on Monday. OSHA Cleveland Area Director Howard Eberts gave an overview of the number of injuries and fatalities due to a lack of fall protection. Representatives from the 3M Company provided the basics of fall protection, equipment and OSHA requirements seminar and BWC Tech Advisor Rich Gaul provided info on BWC grants to help Ohio companies purchase eligible fall protection equipment.

On Tuesday, our Youngstown Customer Service Office staff worked with Boak & Sons, Inc. to have a Safety Stand-Down event in the Youngstown area.

Boak & Sons hosted the event in its large warehouse complete with the needed equipment and set-up for more than 100 attendees from 37 companies.

Representatives from Malta Dynamics provided the training. It covered the ABCDs of fall protection: A-anchorages, B-Bodywear, C-Connectors, D-Descending lifeline. It also included a demonstration with The Grabber, a mobile fall protection system.

Stand-Down events like these are critical for stemming the tide of falls in the workplace. Nearly 30 percent of all claims filed with BWC are from fall injuries, and falls in Ohio result in an average of 14 fatalities a year. Most of these incidents were preventable through awareness, training and proper use of equipment.

Thank you to all who joined us this year!

Don’t fall down on the job! Get ready for the 2018 stand-down

By Mike Marr, BWC Technical Resource Consultant

Do you know what the leading cause of worker fatalities is in construction? Each year, between 150 and 200 workers die, and more than 100,000 are injured, as a result of falls at construction sites.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists fall protection in construction as its most frequently cited standard.

To raise the level of awareness and reduce injuries and fatalities, OSHA promotes an annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls. The stand-down encourages employers across the nation to hold events in conjunction with the multi-day event, May 7-11 this year. As always, the stand-down encourages employers to pause during their workday for topic discussions, safety demonstrations, and trainings in hazard recognition and fall prevention.

We’re hosting a free fall protection training event 9 a.m. to noon May 7 at our Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health in Pickerington. To register, visit the BWC Learning Center and enter Stand-Down Event in the search field. The training, provided by Guardian Fall Protection, will feature a fall protection trailer demonstration and classroom instruction.

On May 7, our Garfield Heights Claims Office will also host a stand-down event at 9 a.m. Call Ana Cammarata at (216) 318-9178 to register.

Additionally, we’re partnering with Boak & Sons, Inc. and MALTA Dynamics for a no-cost fall protection training from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. May 8 at Boak & Sons Inc. location in Austintown. To RSVP, email David.C.12@bwc.state.oh.us or David.L.2@bwc.state.oh.us. We may add more events in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget the BWC Library offers an extensive collection of audiovisual materials related to fall hazards and fall prevention. We also offer year-round classes throughout Ohio to address fall protection requirements.

It’s not too late for your company or organization to plan a stand-down event. We’re here if you need help planning your activity. Just call 1-800-644-6292 for assistance.

To see a list of events in Ohio and across the nation, visit OSHA’s stand-down events page.

Have you planned your Stand-Down to Prevent Falls event yet?

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Quick question: Do you know the most frequently cited violation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)? Don’t peek at the link. The answer is lack of proper fall protection.

Injuries from falls have plagued workplaces of all types for centuries, and they remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry. The most unfortunate part is many of these injuries and fatalities could have been prevented with proper equipment, training and awareness.

To raise the level of awareness, OSHA promotes an annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, and encourages employers across the nation to hold events in conjunction with the multi-day event. This year’s stand-down dates are May 8-12. As always, the stand-down encourages employers to pause during their workday for topic discussions, safety demonstrations, and trainings in hazard recognition and fall prevention.

It’s not too late for your company or organization to plan a stand-down event. We’re here if you need help planning your activity. Just call 1-800-644-6292 for assistance.

We’re also promoting stand-down events in two locations – one in Pickerington at the Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health (OCOSH); the other in Austintown. More may be added in the coming weeks. To see other events in Ohio and across the nation, visit the OSHA’s Stand-Down events page.

Honeywell Safety Products will provide the free training at the May 12 event at OCOSH. It will feature a fall protection trailer demonstration and classroom instruction. Learn more here.

The May 10 Austintown event (hosted by BOAK and Sons, Inc.) starts at 7:30 a.m. For more information, contact BWC’s David Costantino at 330-301-5825 or via email at David.C.12@bwc.state.oh.us.

Finally, don’t forget the BWC Library also offers an extensive collection of audiovisual materials related to fall hazards and fall prevention.

Let’s all take a stand-down to prevent falls in Ohio!

For more information
OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls webpage
CPWR’s Stop Construction Falls webpage