Falls are one of the biggest hazards that construction workers face, but it isn’t always the worker falling that it is the problem. Objects that workers use when they are at heights above ground level can easily cause a fatality if the object is heavy enough and is dropped from a considerable distance.
The laws of physics come into the picture here. When an object as small as a tape measure or wrench is dropped from a high location, the velocity of the item will increase as it falls. If the object hits someone, it can kill. A man at a construction site was struck with a tape measure and it killed him. That item was dropped from 50 stories above the man.
The risk of a fatality is the reason why it is so important for workers to secure themselves and all objects when they are working at heights above ground. In the case of the man who was killed by the tape measure, his death could have been prevented if the tape measure was tethered to the worker’s belt or another stable object.
Interestingly, less than 25 percent of construction workers surveyed think that all accidents are preventable. This is a point that is debatable but it is fair to say that most accidents that occur could probably be prevented if construction workers and everyone else involved took the time to ensure that all safety precautions are being followed.
When it comes to falling objects, securing them and protecting people below the work area can easily prevent catastrophic incidents. This can be done by tying off objects, using nets to catch falling items, putting up barriers and using clear signage. It is up to each construction company to try to prevent what could be a fatal accident in the workplace.
Source: EHS Today, “The Sky Isn’t Falling (And Your Tools Shouldn’t Either),” Mark Caldwell, accessed March 15, 2018
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