Search the LHSFNA website
Published: October, 2010; Vol 7, Num 5


15 Things Supervisors Can Do to Prevent Falls

Five Things to Do Today

1.    Ask workers one question: how many workers died in falls in our area last year? Get the answer at BLS state data.
2.    Check for missing guardrails.

3.    Look out for ladders…they’re used so often, they’re often taken for granted.
4.    Check for floor openings…cover them or erect strong guardrails.
5.    Give a safety talk on falls and walk the site with your crew (the LHSFNA has two falls-related health alerts you can use).
Five Ways to Supervise
1.    Show you mean it. Actions speak louder than words. Inspect every day and address hazards when they are found.
2.    Plan your work to avoid hazards. For example, assemble roofs on the ground and hoist them into place. Look ahead at work so lifts, instead of ladders, will be available.
3.    Train your workers – ongoing coaching is part of your job. Use LIUNA Training’s classes and the LHSFNA’s resources to boost worker awareness.
4.    Enforce the rules. Tying off is critical. No exceptions allowed.
5.    Support good behavior. “Catch” workers doing things right and praise them.
Five Things to Tell Your Workers
1.    “Do it right every time.” Don’t encourage corner-cutting when it comes to safety.
2.    “Look out for other workers.” If you or someone else sees a safety problem, address it immediately.
3.    “Use the right equipment.” When safety gear is required, use it and don’t allow workers under your supervision to go without.
4.    “Tell me about the hazards you see.” Encourage workers to speak up about worksite dangers. Never dismiss or repress such reports.
5.    “Know your rights.” Workers have a right to refuse unsafe work. Tell them. Of course, it’s better for everyone to address safety situations before a dispute arises.
Adapted from the Summer, 2009, issue of Construction Safety, the magazine of the Construction Safety Association of Ontario.