Falls are among the leading causes of workplace injuries in Georgia. Some of the most devastating falls involve tumbles from roofs and skylights.
A fall from a roof, skylight or any elevation can easily injure the head, brain or spinal cord. Such a catastrophe can have a severe impact on a person’s ability to return to the job, or even perform any kind of kind of work again, particularly when there is no complete cure for the injury.
Falls are usually preventable. Personal safety gear, worker training and other strategies can help reduce such accidents. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends a combination of worker training, regular and effective use of personal restraint systems, and adequate oversight and supervision to prevent falls.
Sometimes falls occur when skylights are left open without adequate warning to workers. Supervisors should make sure that warning signs are posted around these openings to caution workers. For added safety, workers should cover a hole before leaving the area.
Even when a skylight has been covered, the covering may not be strong enough to support a person’s weight. For that reason, workers should not sit or lean on a skylight.
Employers must not only provide workers with fall protection gear and restraint systems but also ensure that workers know how to use them properly. Workers must use a personal fall restraint system when they are more than 6 feet above a lower level.
Personal fall arrest systems should be inspected every day for any signs of damage or deficiency. Defective system should not be used, and any damage should be reported immediately to a supervisor.