Guardrails can prevent falls
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Posted by: Joanna Wavrunek, digital communications manager
Hastings Mutual Insurance Company
Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injury and deaths in the workplace.
Modern milking parlors and freestall barns have elevated work platforms or holes in the floor that create fall hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines state that work platforms in general industry need fall protection at heights greater than 4 feet. OSHA guidelines state that in construction, fall protections should be provided at heights over 6 feet.
Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines, employers must provide guardrails and toe boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured. Freestall barns have manure collection pits and sand separation areas that may require fall protection.
OSHA guidelines state that a guardrail shall consist of a top rail, intermediate rail and posts, or equivalent, and shall have a minimum vertical height of 36 inches to 44 inches from the upper surface of the top rail to the floor, platform, runway or ramp level.
Take a few minutes to review any elevated work platform that may exist in your facilities. If deficiencies are found, take the time to protect employees from falling from these platforms.