In the performance of my duties with Roco Rescue, I have had the opportunity and challenge of performing a variety of needs assessments for a variety of clients in many different industries including but not limited to aerospace, petrochemical, high purity gases, textile, food manufacturing/distribution, power generation, offshore oil exploration/production, communications, as well as the Department of Defense. The primary areas I assess are permit-required confined space and fall protection programs. By performing as a service provider, these needs assessments have provided a unique perspective and, by virtue of entering a truly cooperative relationship with the client, it has allowed me to see a diverse sampling of programs, ranging from a gold-stamp level of compliance and employee safety to some visits being downright scary.
Other than the gold-stamp programs (and even they had opportunities for improvement), most all of these needs assessments revealed a common recurring theme. As diligent as the safety professionals were at the site, the programs nearly universally lacked an organized structure. This presentation will address the lack of a structured or managed fall protection program. The same principles of organization and structure apply to the two primary industry groups that will be discussed. Be it general industry work activities or construction, the principles of managing a comprehensive managed fall protection program remain the same. The construction industry will generally be more dynamic in the application of the principles, but the means of administering the program remain very similar.
Although there are several programs that have done a wonderful job of piecing together most, if not all, of the elements of a comprehensive managed fall protection program, there is a proven road map to help ANY employer improve and streamline their existing program and will, in most every case, result in a safer work place for the employees. That road map is otherwise known as ANSI Z359.2, Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program. This one standard is probably the best resource to use in the development of an employer's fall protection program or can serve as a valuable tool in the review and improvement of an existing employer's program.