A volunteer working on a roof is protected by the Hugs Guardrail system. While leaning between the top and mid rails, the volunteer attempts to hand a hammer to a co-worker standing down on the ground. The mid rail shifts upward causing the volunteer to lose his balance and fall to the ground. Fortunately, the volunteer survives with minor injuries and bruises.
How Could This Fall Have Been Prevented?
- Fall protection equipment must be installed and used properly to be effective.
- Volunteers should receive adequate training on how to install and use the equipment.
- The Hugs system must be installed according to manufacturer’s direction to work properly and be effective in preventing falls. All lumber guardrails must be secured to the uprights by screws or nails to prevent shifting in any direction.
- When force is applied at the top of the railing system the overall system must be able to withstand 200 pounds of force in any direction without failure. Mid rails have a 150 pound force requirement without failure, and toe boards have a 50 pound force requirement.
- Your affiliate should provide onsite trained personnel (called Competent Persons under OSHA) to oversee high hazard operations on the jobsite. This designated person(s) should understand the OSHA rules that apply to each of these hazards. They should have full knowledge of the manufacturer’s requirements of each piece of safety equipment that is used, including proper installation, inspection, etc.
Who is a Competent Person? By OSHA’s standard, a competent person is one who is able to quickly and fully answer any questions or concerns that an OSHA Compliance Officer may have on a given subject that the competent person is responsible for.
Fall Protection Training: The HFHI U.S. Safety Specialist can help provide competent person training, upon request. Contact Don Hartle at email@example.com  for more information. Also check our our free online safety training on our web site.