Falling objects can quickly make a somewhat safe workplace extremely dangerous. Whether it’s a hammer that has fallen down from scaffolding or materials for roofing that have slid down and made their way past the edge of the roof, these falling objects have the potential to cause serious harm.
There are steps you can take to prevent injuries from falling objects in your workplace. That way, you can avoid being one of over 42,400 people who are struck and injured by falling objects each year.
Preventing falling object accidents starts with fall prevention techniques
The first step toward preventing falling object accidents is using the right tools to stop those objects from falling in the first place. This may mean using specialized belts to hold tools while you work at heights, having safety straps on tools that could be easily dropped and encouraging the correct use of secured toolboxes or containers at heights.
Safety below is as important as safety above
You should know that being safe below scaffolding or machinery that is moving items is just as essential as being safe at a height. If you’re walking through a construction area with a risk of falling objects or know that something in your workplace could fall if it’s not secured correctly, wear safety equipment. This safety equipment might include a hard hat, for example, which can help protect your head and brain from serious injuries if you’re struck by a falling object.
Your employer may also want to use specialized tunnels with roofing or to employ safety nets to help workers who are walking through an area where debris could fall. These techniques could minimize the risk of objects hitting the workers in the area.
Even a small item falling from high in the air has the potential to seriously hurt or kill someone. 3M states that a tool that weighs eight pounds will travel up to 80 mph before hitting the ground when falling from 200 feet. That’s more than enough impact force to seriously harm or kill someone.
If you’re hit by a falling object, you may have the right to make a workers’ compensation claim. Safety comes first, but if an accident does happen, know your rights.