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This article was produced in partnership with Canadian Occupational Safety.
Falls, slips, and trips are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths on construction sites. But there are key strategies companies can implement to reduce the risk of these types of incidents.
According to the latest data from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, 2020 saw 193 fatal injuries in construction, accounting for 21% of the total 921 occupational fatalities in Canada. In that same year, falls to a lower level accounted for 83% of all fall-related deaths in the construction industry.
The complete guide on construction site fall protection from Kee Safety takes a close look at the hazards and provides solutions on how best to control them. Nick Bixcul is the strategic solutions manager with Kee Safety and says the fall hazards on construction sites are not always so obvious. “Not only are we looking and trying to protect people from falling off the edge of buildings, but it's also falling through buildings,” explains Bixcul.
He says it is easy for workers to avoid the edges of buildings, but many of the accidents happening in the industry involve hazards in the middle of structures, away from the outer perimeters.
“I think a lot of people lack understanding and knowledge as to how dangerous building roof constructions are,” says Bixcul, “you can potentially become disoriented, having snow on the building, you don't really know where maybe skylights are located, or other openings.”
Aside from the potential dangers lurking on construction sites, Bixcul says workers can also become complacent, especially when they are not working at heights above 30 feet. “Anything below 30 feet, you have this false sense of security, where you're like, oh, this is not that high, I can climb up that pretty easily. And more falls happened below 30 feet, because of that false sense of security.”
Contained in the complete guide on construction site fall protection are tips and strategies to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Bixcul says it is great when a hazard doesn’t have to be at a height, but when it does, there are ways to make it as safe as possible. “A collective system, whether it's guardrails, or a demarcation system like our Keemark, or our Keeguard counterbalance weight system, those systems work really well.” And Bixcul says they are extremely user friendly.
Learn more about how you can help protect everyone working on construction sites by downloading the free White Paper: Construction Site Fall Protection