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Safety Tips | Fall protection

Use caution near roof and floor openings, skylights

September 23, 2013

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Falls through skylights and roof and floor openings can cause severe injuries and, in the worst case, death. According to NIOSH, workers should follow these tips to protect themselves:

  • Do not sit on, lean against, or step on a skylight or any covering placed over a hole in a roof or floor. The material may not support your weight, and you could fall.
  • Before leaving a work area, guard or securely cover any hole you created or uncovered. If you do not, other workers may not notice the hole and fall through.
  • Ask your supervisor about the type of safety procedures to follow when covering or guarding a hole.
  • Always use a personal fall arrest system that includes a full-body harness, lanyard, connectors and appropriate anchorage points when working over an unguarded or uncovered opening more than 6 feet above a lower level.
  • If using a personal fall arrest system, inspect it every day and report any damage or deficiencies to your supervisor. Tie off only to anchorage points that your supervisor has marked as safe.
  • If you notice any unguarded skylights or roof or floor openings – or other fall hazards in your workplace – report them to your supervisor immediately.
  • Follow safe work practices provided by your employer.
  • Ask your employer for instructions if you are unclear on how to safely perform your job.

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