At RIG, Inc. Safety Comes First: Workplace Safety Protocol

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At RIG, Inc. safety is a top priority for all employees. In the field of interior protection and debris containment, RIG, Inc. employees use various types of equipment such as aerial lifts and ladders on a daily basis to get the job done. These types of equipment can be hazardous and cause death or serious injury. According to statistics, falls are the leading cause of death and injuries in the construction industry. Each year more than 4,000 construction workers are seriously injured by falls that they miss work. About 70 of these construction workers die in falls from ladders. At RIG, Inc. employees working at heights are urged to use a scaffold or aerial lift instead of a ladder. The wider work platform and guard rails reduce their risk of falls.

To avoid a fall using a ladder, RIG, Inc. employees are asked to follow these safety steps before every use:

Inspect the rails, rungs, feet and spreaders or rung locks of your ladder for defects or damage every time in use. Damaged ladders should be tagged “do not use†and another ladder should be requested that is in proper working order. RIG, Inc. employees should always check their ladder’s duty rating to make sure it will support them and their tool belt.
Position the ladder properly and make sure there is level, solid footing for the ladder. Position the ladder near work area to avoid overreaching. For extension ladders set the base one foot away from the building for every four feet of height. Tie off the ladder at the top and bottom where possible.
Use the ladder safely by maintaining three point contact with the ladder at all times. Do not stand on the top two rungs of the stepladder, or the top four rungs of an extension ladder. Have your partner hold the ladder to steady it as you climb up and down. Don’t carry tools and materials while climbing. Use a rope to haul or hoist materials to the upper level.

Aerial lifts, when used correctly and safely, can be a tremendously useful tool in the world of interior protection and debris containment. They allow employees to move themselves and their tools to the exact work location, even beyond 100 feet in the air. When used properly, aerial lifts can also help reduce the risk of back, neck and shoulder injuries caused by working at or above shoulder level.

As a precaution, RIG, Inc. has outlined key safety elements for all employees to review and sign off on before operating an aerial lift on the job.

Training is Key – All aerial lifts are not created equal and at RIG, Inc. all employees should receive proper training prior to operating an aerial lift on site. Each aerial lift model is different and all RIG, Inc. employees must be trained by a qualified person experienced with the model of aerial lift being used. Once trained, all RIG, Inc. employees should follow the manufacturer’s rules and regulations.
Wear A Full Body Harness – Operating an aerial lift can pose many dangers. For instance, if your lift is struck by another vehicle, you can be thrown from the lift and killed. Using proper fall protection will keep you from a serious or fatal fall. RIG, Inc. must provide all RIG, Inc. employees operating an aerial lift a suitable full body harness to be attached to an engineered anchor in the basket or on the boom, not a guardrail.

At RIG, Inc. wearing a full-body fall protection harness on jobs more than 6 ft .above the ground is imperative in stopping a fatal fall. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. According to statistics, almost every work day somewhere in the United States, a construction worker dies as a result of a fall.

Proper fall protection harnesses have straps worn around the trunk and thighs. If you fall, it will distribute “stopping force†across your thighs, pelvis, chest and shoulders to prevent severe injury. Before starting a job, inspect your harness for worn or damaged straps, buckles, D-ring and lines. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you put on your harness and make sure all straps are fastened and adjusted correctly. Don’t start work until you are satisfied with the condition and fit of your fall protection harness. Another important point in checking that your fall protection harness is secured is making sure you are properly connected. Your lanyard should be attached to the D-ring on your fall protection harness, then anchored securely to an anchor point. Ask your RIG, Inc. supervisor if your anchor point can sustain the load without failure. Guardrails are not anchor points. Fall protection harness arrest system consists of fall protection harness, lanyard, and anchor point. Remember that it’s not over when the fall stops. RIG, Inc. requires employees to have a plan to provide a prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall. In a short time, the harness will restrict blood circulation, which can lead to unconsciousness or even death and time is of the essence.

Avoid Shortcuts – We understand that getting the job done in a timely manner is important, but At RIG, Inc. safety comes first and getting the job done quickly is no reason to take deadly shortcuts. When operating an aerial lift, avoid the following: standing on guardrail, overloading man lift, placing a ladder or scaffold on lift, and climbing out of the basket. Instead, follow these procedures: Inspect the lift safety devices before using; Make sure the base unit controls are working properly so that someone on the ground can lower the lift if the operator is unable to work the controls; Don’t modify the lift without the manufacturer’s permission; Know the Safe Floor Load Capacity before driving onto the floor/slab.

Falls aren’t the only way to get hurt on a ladder and/or aerial lift, electrocution is also a hazard. The most frequent cause of death to an employee on a ladder and/or aerial lift is electrocution from overhead power lines. Trees can hide power lines. As a precaution, all RIG, Inc. employees must do a walk-thru prior to their job to look for obstructions. Unless you are a qualified electrical worker, stay a minimum of 10 feet away from all power lines. Other major causes of deaths using a ladder and/or aerial lift are falls and tip overs.