3 benefits of a safety cage on construction sites
What are the benefits of safety cages on construction jobsites/crews?
Responding is Heather Harding, managing director, Bricking Solutions, Monroe, WA.
Safety plays a big role on construction jobsites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up to 50,000 workers were injured by falling objects in 2020. Between 2016 and 2020, 1,228 workers died after being struck by falling objects. These statistics are a hard reality and major motivator for contractors to invest in safety equipment.
Safety cages are a simple, often-overlooked solution that protect construction workers from falling objects. Here are three major benefits construction crews see when employers invest in and use a safety cage on the jobsite.
1. They meet OSHA’s falling object safety requirements.
OSHA requires each construction jobsite to have protection against falling objects. Depending on the construction work being completed, the protection plan can include railings, safety nets and hard hats. A safety cage can protect workers from falling objects.
Experienced safety cage manufacturers put their designs through various impact tests to ensure the material will stand up to the strain. Industry-leading models can withstand up to 250 pounds falling from a height of 8 feet and meet OSHA, American National Standards Institute, Mine Safety and Health Administration, CE, and CSA safety standards.
2. They help prevent serious injuries from falling objects.
Construction crews know that falling objects are a danger but a common issue on jobsites where overhead work is necessary. Individual safety cages are designed to protect against falling objects by absorbing the impact and stopping material from hitting a worker. To absorb the initial impact, the roof ribs on industry-leading safety cage models are designed with “crumple zones,” much like a car, to protect the workers inside.
Specially engineered legs are another feature designed to absorb shock. The legs contain springs that absorb the remaining impact energy of falling material. The legs are tipped with spikes that dig into the ground to provide extra traction and stability on impact. Well-designed cages also feature lightweight stainless-steel mesh netting to catch smaller debris.
Industry-leading manufacturers custom design safety cages to address the customer’s particular needs, whether that’s a tunnel or a cage for a single worker to safely travel through a risky area.
3. They protect against worker fatigue.
Ergonomic equipment reduces physical strain that can cause injury and disability over time. A quality safety cage is constructed of lightweight material that makes it easy for two workers to carry with flip-up handles. A safety cage made from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, for example, is only 140 pounds – as much as 50% lighter than a steel alternative.
Invest in trustworthy equipment
Keeping employees safe is one of the biggest factors on any construction site. Something as simple as the addition of a safety cage can result in lives saved. Investing in a safe, quality product is a great way to protect employees against dangerous falling objects and, in the long run, protect employers from everything from fines to high insurance costs. Ultimately, investments in safety equipment are investments in success. Can you afford not to?
Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be considered a National Safety Council endorsement.
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