"What's Your BuildIQ?" Column

October 21, 2005

“What’s Your BuildIQ?” Column

Jobsite Safety: Fall Prevention

The rapid growth of the residential construction industry has resulted in a large number of workers in need of safety training. Creating a culture of safety on the jobsite has never been more important. Carelessness makes the jobsite a dangerous place as workers face the possibility of electrical shocks and burns, of being struck or crushed, and of falling. An unsafe jobsite can lead to injury or even death. Thus, it is essential that your workers wear the proper safety gear and follow the best practices in jobsite safety.

Falling is the leading cause of death in the residential construction industry. Virtually all jobsites have falling hazards at some point during construction whether they are scaffolds, precarious leading edges or openings, or excavation ditches. Taking the proper steps to guard edges and openings, and making sure that all workers wear fall protection will lead to a safer environment on the job. Not only will these steps reduce liability costs and improve the company’s reputation, but they may also prevent injury or death.

Do you know the best practices in fall prevention? The following questions will test your BuildIQ. Stumped, or want to learn more? Visit http://hz.buildiquniversity.com and sign up for Jobsite Safety I.

    What percent of construction workers frequently work on scaffolds and lifts?
    • A. 60%
    • A is incorrect. 65% of construction professionals work on scaffolds and lifts frequently.
    • B. 65%
    • B is correct. OSHA has estimated that by keeping workers from falling off scaffolds, 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths would be prevented every year.
    • C. 70%
    • C is incorrect. 65% of construction professionals work on scaffolds and lifts frequently.


    Unless designed by a qualified person to meet a safety factor of two, an anchorage point must be able to support how much weight?
    • A. 1,000 pounds per worker.
    • A is incorrect. Unless a qualified person designs the anchorage point to a safety factor of two, it must be able to support 5,000 pounds per worker.
    • B. 2,000 pounds per worker.
    • B is incorrect. Unless a qualified person designs the anchorage point to a safety factor of two, it must be able to support 5,000 pounds per worker.
    • C. 5,000 pounds per worker.
    • C is correct. Unless a qualified person designs the anchorage point to a safety factor of two, it must be able to support 5,000 pounds per worker.


    What is the required height for side rails, which keep workers from falling from the open edges of stairwells?
    • A. 25 to 32 inches.
    • A is incorrect. A rail 25 inches to 32 inches high isn't high enough. Stairway rails should be 36 inches to 37 inches high.
    • B. 36 to 37 inches.
    • B is correct. Stairway rails should be 36 inches to 37 inches high.
    • C. 42 inches.
    • C is incorrect. 42 inches is the standard height for guardrails. Stairway rails should be 36 inches to 37 inches high.


2005 BuildIQ, Inc.

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