Put Your Guard Up on Jobsites to Prevent Falls

Safety
Published
Contact: Brad Mannion
bmannion@nahb.org
Director, Labor, Health & Safety
(202) 266-8265

The third annual Guardrail Safety Week runs Oct. 17-21. An initiative of Builders Mutual, with NAHB and the Job-Site Safety Institute as partners, the week is a public awareness campaign on the effectiveness of properly installed guardrails to prevent fall injuries during the home building process.

At various points during a residential construction project, nearly all jobsites have unprotected sides, edges, wall openings, or floor holes that pose a falling hazard to the workers and visitors moving around the site. These openings and sides must be protected with guardrails or covers.

Before work begins, OSHA requires that employers provide fall protection where workers and visitors are exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more. Guardrails are one of three main ways to provide that fall protection. You can also deploy safety nets or provide personal fall arrest systems for each employee.

Many times, the nature and location of the work will dictate the form that fall protection takes. Consider inspecting these common fall locations before beginning work:

  • Window openings
  • Stairways and landings
  • Second-story entrances
  • Exterior porches, decks, front steps
  • Scaffolding
  • Around the floor deck in the house (reassess these areas as you build each floor)
  • Elevator shafts

Use resources from NAHB, like the guardrail safety video toolbox talk embedded below and the fall protection toolkit, to deploy these life-saving measures.

Visit putyourguardup.com for additional resources and to learn more about the week.

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