Falling objects can be tools, equipment, debris or construction materials. Objects falling from above and striking people below cause some of the most serious industrial injuries and account for a number of fatalities every year. Let's look at the problem of how to prevent falling objects. First, is there work being performed overhead? How can accidents be prevented? Here are some basic precautions to be followed:
- Warn those below that you're about to begin an overhead task by signs, barricades, and communications.
- Don't carry tools or materials up a ladder. Use a hand line, containers, or buckets lifted by a line.
- Before raising tools or materials with a hand line, make absolutely sure they are securely fastened so they won't slip out.
- When you pile materials on scaffolds, make sure scaffolding and platforms are provided with toe boards so objects don't fall off.
- Never throw materials or tools.
- Make sure the load being lifted by hand line or scaffold is balanced and that no one is under the load being lifted.
- Keep tools and materials away from the edges of platforms and ladders and off railings or window sills.
- Don't stick tools in your pockets because, when you bend over or reach, they may fall out.
- Practice good housekeeping on the overhead job and keep tools and materials that are not in use picked up and stored properly.
- If the nature of the overhead job involves the danger of falling objects, have the area below cleared, and post the necessary warning signs and rope off the area.
Take a moment and look for these types of hazards and correct them before you or a coworker gets hurt.
- Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
- Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
- Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.
Questions for Discussion
- Are pallets stacked appropriately?
- Are there any stacked loads leaning ready to topple over.? Are there objects on upper floors that could fall off?
- Are you walking under a load or lift?
- Are you near a hoisted object?
- Are there tools unsecured and laying on elevated platforms?