Another contractor fell to his death in Leominster, Mass. only a few miles from my home. Twenty six year old Nicholas Kallio, was working in an aerial lift and did not wear OSHA required fall protection. He fell over 50 feet to his death after a portion of the tree he was removing hit the lift he was working in. OSHA requires that while working on an aerial lift, workers must tie off to the bucket. Here are two important sections from the OSHA Scaffolding Standard Subpart L Aerial Lift section;
Employees shall always stand firmly on the floor of the basket, and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.
A body belt or fall protection system shall be worn and a lanyard attached to the boom or basket when working from an aerial lift.
According to the news report from NECN, Mr. Kallio was not wearing a safety belt or harness. He was thrown from the bucket when the cut tree limb hit the lift. OSHA is investigating this fall death and looking into possible safety violations.
The fall death count is rising in Massachusetts...
Last year I conducted three private fall protection trainings after a worker was killed. Each accident was totally preventable. Employers need to make sure their people are trained and job hazard assessments are conducted before work begins. After training, employers need to observe their employees working safe in the field. OSHA requires that all training is effective. I suspect that this was not the case with this company because the deceased was not wearing a harness or safety belt.
Right now in Massachusetts we are up to 6 deaths from falls in construction so far this year. My phone is ringing and contractors are asking for training help so that they don't have an accident or God forbid, a death on their job site. Also we are getting calls from contractors who have been visited by OSHA for either a job site injury or job site enforcement action.
What I am finding is that most of these contractors have no fall protection training and do not have an OSHA required training program with safety manual. These companies will be cited and fined for the violations. Then they will be required to develop a safety training program and train their workers as soon as possible.
In order to prevent these unfortunate accidents, deaths, citations and fines contractors should review their current situation either themselves or hire someone to help them.
Then contractors should train their workers and develop a safety program/manual for their company. Also note that general contractors, remodelers, developers and home builders should not allow any sub-contractor who works up on heights to work on their project unless; they have a written safety program and proof of fall protection training for all sub workers who will work on the site. Under OSHA's Multiple Employer Citation Policy, contractors are getting fined after their subs have been caught working unsafe by OSHA.
If you need hep with fall protection training or written plans we can help. Contact us.