Chapter 9

Chapter 15
Falling, impact, acceleration,
lifting, and vision hazards
Major Topics
Causes of falls
Slip and fall prevention program
OSHA fall prevention standards
Ladder safety
Lifting hazards
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Forklift safety
Primary causes of falls
• More than 16 percent of all disabling work
related injuries are the result of falls.
• The primary causes of falls are:
• A foreign object on the walking surface.
• A design flaw in the walking surface.
• Slippery surfaces.
• An individual’s impaired physical condition.
Most Common Kinds of Falls
• Trip and fall: accidents occur when worker encounters
an unseen foreign object in their path.
• Stump and fall: accidents occur when a worker’s foot
suddenly meets a sticky surface or a defect in the
walking surface.
• Step and fall: accidents occur when a worker encounters
an unexpected step down.
• Slip and fall: accidents occur when the worker’s center of
gravity is suddenly thrown out of balance (oily spot). This
is the most common type of fall.
• (Falling from ladders is covered later)
How surface traction is measured
• Use the coefficient of friction which is a
numerical comparison of the resistance of one
surface (shoe or boot) against another surface
(the floor).
• Surfaces with a coefficient of friction of 0.2 or
less are very slippery and very hazardous. e.g.
ice is 0.1
• Surfaces with a coefficient of friction of 0.4 or
higher have a good traction. e.g. concrete is
Strategies for preventing slips
• Choose the right material from the outset: For walking surfaces,
select surface material that has the highest coefficient of friction.
• Retrofit an existing surface: Retrofit existing surfaces with friction
enhancement devices such as runners, skid strips, carpet, grooves,
abrasive coatings, grills, and textured coverings.
• Practice good housekeeping: Regardless of the type of surface,
keep it clean and dry. Spilled water, grease, oil, solvents should be
removed immediately. When cleaning or mopping rope off area and
erect warning signs.
• Require nonskid footwear: Employees who work in areas where
slipping is likely to be a problem should be required to wear shoes
with special nonskid soles.
• Inspect surfaces frequently: Safety and health professionals should
conduct frequent inspections and act immediately when a hazard is
Slip and Fall Prevention Programs
Every year slips, trips, and falls cause more than one million workplace injuries and
approximately 16,000 deaths.
A policy statement/commitment: Statement to convey management’s commitment to safety
to include - intent, scope of activity, responsibility, accountability, the safety professional’s
role, authority, and standards.
Review and acceptance of walkways: Contain the criteria that will be used for reviewing all
walkway surfaces and determining if they are acceptable.
Reconditioning and retrofitting: include recommendations and timetables for
reconditioning or retrofitting existing walkways that do not meet review and acceptance
Maintenance standards and procedures: How often surfaces should be cleaned,
resurfaced, replaced and procedures for meeting maintenance standards.
Inspections, audits, tests and records: List of inspections, audits and tests that will be
done, how frequently and where. Record of results.
Employee footwear program: Specify type of footwear for employees who work on different
types of surfaces.
Defense methods for legal claims: Outline of company’s legal defense to show that the
company was not negligent (slip and fall prevention program).
Measurement of results: Explain how the program will be evaluated, and how often. Record
of results of evaluations.
Trigger Height Controversy over OSHA’s Fall
Protection Standards for Construction
• OSHA’s current Fall Protection Standard sets
the trigger height at 6 feet. This means that any
construction employee working higher than 6
feet off the ground must use a fall protection
device such as a safety harness and line.
• The trigger height means that virtually every
small residential builder and roofing contractor is
subject to the standard. Because most
residential builders and roofing contractors are
small, subpart M of 29 CFR 1926 is a source of
much controversy.
Requirements for personal fall arrest system
in OSHA 1926.451[d][16]
• Personal fall arresting systems, when stopping a fall shall:
• Limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds when
used with a body belt.
• Limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1800 pounds
when used with a body harness.
• Be rigged such that employee can neither free-fall more than 6 feet
nor contact any lower level.
• Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum
deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet.
• Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact
energy of an employee free-falling a distance of 6 feet or the free fall
distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.
What is a Lanyard
• A lanyard is a flexible line of rope, wire
rope, or strap that generally has a
connector at each end for connecting the
body belt or harness to a deceleration
device, lifeline or anchorage.
OSHA’s recommendation for
effective fall protection
Slip and fall injuries account for approximately one million workplace injuries
every year.
Have a plan: An organization should develop a written fall protection plan that
contains a statement of commitment from both management and employees,
rules and regulations relating to fall protection, and explanation of the training
programs and training requirements.
Establish proper fall protection requirements: Require the use of fall protection
equipment anytime an employee works more than 4 feet above the floor in
general industry, 6 feet or more in construction, and 10 feet or more when on a
Provide proper fall protection equipment and procedures and require their use:
Might include personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, safety nets, positioning
devices, warning lines, controlled access zones, and safety monitoring.
Ensure proper use and type of equipment: Proper type for the situation,
employees inspect it before putting it on, fits properly, and is properly attached
to anchor points.
Provide Training: Fall protection training for supervisors and employees
including how to recognize fall hazards and how to properly use all equipment.
Assessing workplace for eye
• Do employees perform tasks that may produce airborne dust or
flying particles?
• Do employees work near others who perform tasks that may
produce airborne dust or flying particles?
• Do employees handle hazardous liquid chemicals or blood?
• Do employees work near others who handle hazardous liquid
chemicals or blood?
• Do employees work in situations that may expose their eyes to
chemical or physical irritants?
• Do employees work in situations that might expose their eyes to
intense light or lasers?
• Based on the answers to these questions, the vision protection
program can be developed.
Eye protection training
• Ensures that eye protection devices are used properly. Shows
employees that they have a critical role to play in protecting their
eyes. OSHA recommend the following topics:
• Why is it important to use the eye protection devices
• How the devices protect the eyes
• Limitations of the devices
• When the devices should be used
• How the devices are properly worn
• How straps are adjusted for both comfort and effectiveness
• How employee can identify signs of wear that may lessen the
effectiveness of the devices
• How the devices are cleaned and disinfected and how often
Inspecting ladders
The National Safety Council recommends the following:
See if the ladder has the manufacturer’s instruction label on it.
Determine whether the ladder is strong enough.
Read the label specifications about weight capacity and
Look for the following conditions: cracks on side rails; loose rungs,
rails or braces; or damaged connections between rungs and rails.
Check for heat damage and corrosion.
Check wooden ladders for moisture that may cause them to conduct
Check metal ladders for burrs and sharp edges.
Check fiberglass ladders for signs of blooming deterioration of
exposed fiberglass.
Evolution of Hard Hats
• Originally introduced in 1919, the hard hats first introduced for head
protection in an industrial setting were inspired by the helmets worn
by soldiers in World War I. They were made of varnished resin
impregnated canvas.
• Today’s hard hats are made from the thermoplastic material
polyethylene using injection molding process.
• They are designed to provide limited protection from impact primarily
to the top of the head and thereby reduce the amount of impact
transmitted to the head, neck and spine.
• Hard hats are tested for a 40 foot pound impact, which is equivalent
to a two pound hammer falling about 20 feet.
• OSHA standard 29 CFR 1010.135 requires hard hats since 1971 in
an industrial setting in which falling objects are likely.
Kinds of Injuries to Foot and Toes
• OSHA regulations for foot protection are found in 29 CFR 1910.132
and 126
• Foot and toe injuries account for almost 20% of all disabling work
place injuries in the United States. There are over 180,000 foot and
toe injuries in the workplace each year. Major injuries are:
• Falls and impacts from sharp or heavy objects (accounts for 60% of
all injuries).
• Compression when rolled over or pressed between heavy objects.
• Punctures through the sole of the foot.
• Conductivity of electricity or heat.
• Electrocution from contact with an energized conducting material.
• Slips on unstable walking surfaces.
• Hot liquid or metal splashed into shoes or boots.
• Temperature extremes.
Typical Causes of Back Injuries
Back injuries account for approximately $12 billion in worker’s
compensation costs annually.
Lower back injuries account for 20 to 25 % of all workers
compensation claims.
33 to 40 % of all workers compensation costs are related to lower back
Each year there are approximately 46,000 back injuries in the
Back injuries cause 100 million lost workdays each year.
Approximately 80% of the population will experience lower back pain
at some point in their lives.
Back injuries are typically caused by improper lifting, reaching, sitting,
and bending.
Lifting hazards such as poor posture, ergonomic factors and personal
lifestyles also contribute to back problems.
Company’s overall safety and health program should have a
back/safety lifting component.
Six Step Back Safety Lifting
• 1. Display Poster Illustrations: Proper lifting, reaching, sitting, and
bending techniques strategically throughout the workplace.
• 2. Pre-employment Screening: Identify people who have back
• 3. Regular Safety Inspections: So corrective action can be taken
• 4. Education and Training: To help employees understand how to
lift, bend, reach, stand, walk, and sit safely.
• 5. Use external services: Identify local health care providing
agencies and organizations.
• 6. Map out the prevention program: First five steps should be
incorporated into company’s overall safety and health program.
Reviewed periodically and updated as needed.
Ways to Minimize Standing
• Anti-Fatigue Mats: provide cushioning between feet and
hard working surfaces. Reduce muscle fatigue and lower
back pain.
• Shoe inserts: For employees on the move. Reduce lower
back, foot and leg pain.
• Foot Rails: allow employees to raise one foot at a time
four or five inches. Relieves pressure on spinal column.
• Workplace Design: Adjust height of workstation to match
physical needs.
• Sit/Stand Chairs: Give feet, legs and back occasional
• Proper Footwear: Well fitting comfortable shoes for
employees who stand prolonged periods of time.
Strategies for proper lifting
Plan ahead:
Determine if you can lift the load.
Decide if you need assistance.
Check your route to see whether it has obstructions or slippery surfaces.
Lift with your legs, not your back:
Bend your knees, keeping your back straight.
Position your feet close to the object.
Center your body over the load.
Lift straight up; do not jerk.
Keep your torso straight: do not twist while lifting or after the load is lifted.
Set the load down slowly and smoothly with straight back and bent knees; do
not let go until the object is on the floor.
Push; do not pull:
Pushing puts less strain on your back.
Use rollers under the object whenever possible.
Critical Factors when selecting
Choose depending on type of hazard:
Leather: offers comfort, excellent abrasion resistance, and minimum cut
Cotton: offers comfort, minimal abrasion resistance and minimum cut
Aramids: offer comfort. Good abrasion resistance, excellent cut resistance, and
excellent heat resistance.
Polyethylene: offer comfort, excellent abrasion resistance, minimal cut
resistance. Should not be subjected to high temperatures.
Stainless steel cord (wrapped in synthetic fiber): offer comfort, good abrasion
resistance and optimal cut resistance.
Chain link or metal mesh: offer very little comfort, bit maximum abrasion and
cut resistance.
Butyl rubber: offer little comfort, but has excellent resistance to heat, ozone,
tearing, and certain chemicals.
Viton rubber: offer little comfort, but perform well with chemicals that butyl
rubber cannot protect against.
Getting employees comfortable
when wearing PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical in head, hand, back,
eye, face, foot, skin and breathing protection.
Make maximum use of engineering and administrative controls: PPE
should be the last line of defense.
Ensure optimum choice of PPE by using risk assessment: employees
who know that the PPE provides adequate protection from hazards
will be more likely to use it.
Involve employees in all aspects of PPE program: may provide
valuable input, and are more likely to buy into support and use.
Provide comprehensive education and training programs: employees
need to understand why PPE is important and how to use it.
Reinforce proper use and challenge improper use: Compliments
should be given publicly, corrections should be done in private.
Be sensitive to fit, comfort and style issues: ill fitting PPE may not
provide proper protection, and make employees reluctant to wear it.
Work to make PPE a normal part of the uniform: using PPE will
become standard operating procedure and its proper use will cease to
be an issue.
Training equipment contained in OSHA 29
CFR 1910.178 (powered industrial trucks)
Before operating industrial truck (forklift) employees are required to complete OSHA CFR
1910.178 initial training:
1. Operating instructions, warnings, and precautions.
2. Differences between truck and automobile.
3. Truck controls and instrumentation: where they are located and how to use them.
4. Engine or motor operation.
5. Steering and maneuvering.
6. Visibility (including restrictions due to loading).
7. Fork and attachment adaptation, operation and use limitations.
8. Vehicle capacity.
9. Vehicle stability.
10. Vehicle inspection and maintenance.
11. Refueling and charging/recharging the batteries.
12. Operating limitations.
13. Other operating instructions, warnings, precautions listed in operators manual.
14. Work place related topics including: surface conditions where vehicle will be operated,
composition of loads, stability, load manipulation, stacking, unstacking, pedestrian traffic,
• The primary causes of falls are a foreign object on the
walking surface, a design flaw in the walking surface, a
slippery surface, and a person’s impaired physical
working condition.
• Strategies for preventing slips include the following:
choose the right material from the outset, retrofit an
existing surface, practice good housekeeping, require
nonskid footwear, and inspect surfaces frequently.
• OSHA’s requirements for fall protection include the
following: have a plan, establish requirements, provide
equipment and procedures, ensure proper use and type
of equipment, and provide training.
• Do’s and do not’s of ladder safety include
checking for slipperiness, allowing only one
person on the ladder at a time, securing the
base and top on a level surface, facing the
ladder while climbing, avoiding leaning, and
always holding with one hand.
• Protection from impact injuries from falling
objects include PPE to protect the head (hard
hats), eyes and face (goggles or shields), and
feet (footwear).
• Before using PPE, every feasible engineering
and administrative control should be employed.
Home work
Answer questions 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 18, and 21 on page 354.
1. List the primary causes of falls.
4. List and briefly explain 5 strategies for preventing slips.
5. Describe the various components of a slip and fall prevention
7. What are the requirements of personal fall arrest systems in
OSHA regulation 1926.451(d)(16).
9. Explain OSHA’s recommendations for effective fall protection,
and what action to take when a worker is dangling from his fall
arrest gear.
18. Explain the strategies for proper lifting that should be taught
as part of the safety program.
21. Explain the training requirements contained in OSHA’s
standard 29 CFR 1910.178 (powered industrial trucks).

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