CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2016

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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COATINGSPRO MAY 2016 37 WORK IT SAFE Operators of any aerial work platform should be trained and familiar with the equipment before using it. During operation, it is essential for operators to remain aware of site work hazards and changing conditions that may affect safe operation of the aerial work platform. WHERE AND WHY ARE AERIAL LIFTS USED? Aerial lifts are popular at various jobsites, including: Construction Warehousing General building maintenance Other industries that are required to elevate workers to move materials, change lightbulbs, store boxes, and other tasks. Aerial lifts are frequently used instead of scaffolding, which lacks mobil- ity, calls for excessive setup time, and exposes workers to traumatic injury, especially during the assembly and disassembly stages. Aerial lifts are mobile, can be deployed to various jobsites, can elevate to substantial heights, and involve minimal setup time. Consequently, their use is increasing for various industrial jobs, such as painting, tile and drywall installation, and maintenance. RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH AERIAL LIFTS Aerial lifts can expose workers to risks, such as fall-related hazards, because they are mobile, are used as elevating equipment, and are considered to be a restricted work space. In addition, there are various hazards that workers are exposed to because the platform can be used in a variety of conditions, some of them not approved. In recent years, a number of workers who operate aerial lifts have been injured or killed by falls and other exposures while using this equipment. Proper safeguard- ing can reduce or eliminate injuries. STANDARDS The recommended safe work practices for aerial lifts have been derived from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standards and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements: 1 9 1 0 . 6 7 ( a ) ( 1 ) " A e r i a l d e v i c e . " A n y v e h i c l e - m o u n t e d d e v i c e , telescoping or articulating, or both, which is used to position personnel. ANSI/SIA A92. Elevating and Vehicle Lift Devices Package For more information, contact: www.cdc.gov/niosh gear — directly to their specifc jobsite and to their personal daily activities. Fall Protection Gear for People W hen protecting your workers at all heights, the ABCDs of fall protection can act as a checklist to ensure they are all using the right equipment. • Anchorage: The anchorage is the secure point of attachment for the fall-arrest system. The appropriate type of anchorage connector varies by the industry, the job performed, the type of installation, and the available structure. The anchorage structure to which the connector is attached must be capable of supporting a load of 5,000 pounds (2,268.0 kg) per person, or it shall be designed, installed, and used as part of a complete system that maintains a safety factor of at least two under the supervision of a qualified person. • Body Support: A full-body harness provides secure body support while working at heights. Harnesses distribute fall forces over the upper thighs, pelvis, chest, and shoulders. They also provide a connection point on the worker for the personal fall arrest system. A well-designed harness should provide enough comfort to wear throughout the work day, and it should be adjustable across the chest and shoulders and around the legs. For optimal wearability, select a harness with built-in ergonomics, increased padding, and lightweight materials. Harnesses that provide comfort and adjustability allow the worker to work for longer periods of time at heights, and thus they increase productivity. Finally, select a harness that is intuitive and easy to use. You don't want workers struggling in and out of clumsy harnesses, as that decreases productivity and safety. • Connectors: A connector is a device that links the user's full-body harness to an anchorage. When used as part of a fall-restraint system, the length of the connector must be carefully selected so the worker is restrained or prevented from reach- ing a fall hazard. Shock-absorbing lanyards are designed to take the strain out of a fall. Tey are fexible lines with a connector at each end, which are used to fasten the anchorage to the body support of a fall-protection system. For fall arrest, lanyards should be connected to the back D-ring, located between the shoul- der blades and, ideally, anchored above the worker to minimize fall distance. Self-retracting lifelines aford workers safe movement within the work area and include mechanisms that allow the device to extend and retract as the worker moves around. If the worker falls, the device will sense the sudden acceleration and arrest the fall. • Descent/Rescue: Essential parts of the fall-protection program are descent and rescue devices, which are used to retrieve a fallen worker. Such devices include tripods, davit arms, winches, and comprehensive rescue systems. Choosing the right descent and rescue equipment depends on the jobsite, the task being performed, and the available Safety Watch

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