Safety training plays a big role in workplace safety. Fall protection training is required in certain instances in the workplace.
Most of us have climbed trees in our youth. Climbing trees is a youthful event. The desire to climb toward the sky (or so it appeared) to see further, see if it could be done, because looking at branches high from the ground (or any number of reasons really), it seemed the thing to do. (Well, at least it did to me.)
Climbing even a few feet off the ground left us with the feeling of, wow I can see a long way, holy cow! Oh my, the ground is a long way away. Gulp. Most of us figured out that falling might not be a good idea and cautiously worked our way down to the ground once again. But it was fun.
But the workplace is different.
In the workplace, some tasks require working at height. For example, a young man working as a mechanics assistant in a repair garage is asked by his boss to help a contractor working on the repair shop expansion. The young assistant is familiar with machinery and its repair but has virtually no experience handling construction. He is asked to access a roof space, 20 feet above the repair shop floor, to carry out some task. He is given no training on how to safely access the elevated space. Neither his boss or the contractor talks to him about safety practices working at height, providing only instruction as to the task to be accomplished.
The young man falls onto the concrete floor 20 feet below.
In the workplace working at certain heights triggers the need for certain safety practices and equipment to keep the worker safe from falls. These safety rules are fairly simple but are a necessary standard of care to safeguard employees from falls. Falls are the leading cause of death and injury in the construction injury in America.
Unlike the childhood climbing of trees which required only a youthful curiosity (and ignorance of the hazard), in the workplace fall protection training is required but simple. It is easy to learn how to not fall.
What do you think?