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CONSTRUCTION SAFETY

FALLS T.H. Marsh is a mid-sized general contractor with a safety program comparable in scope to some of the largest construction managers and general contractors in the state, said Gadbois. The company has successfully tackled safety

issues, including the leading cause of fatalities – falls - with a rigorously formatted and religiously enforced safety program. Beyond the larger construction companies, not very many firms require site specific fall protection plans on jobs with work at a high elevation, said Gadbois.

Nationally, more than 60 percent of the fatal falls occurred among small construction firms with 10 or fewer employees, according to a study presented at the 2010 International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland, presented the study entitled, “Fatal Falls in the U.S. Construction Industry, 1992 – 2008.” At T.H. Marsh, roofing, steel erection and other tasks at elevation never begin without a fall protection plan that identifies and eliminates potential hazards. The site specific plan devises the safest approach to a task, whether it means plotting an effective tie-off strategy or ensuring proper footing for a man lift. “The plan must be submitted to and reviewed by me,” said Gadbois. “Under our company’s safety policy, the safety director gives the workers permission to proceed.” T.H. Marsh’s fall protection plans for steel erection even exceed MIOSHA requirements to tie-off for steel erection at 15 feet above a lower level and at 30 feet for workers defined as connectors. “When you sign a contract with T.H. Marsh, we expect you to tie-off at 6 feet for steel erection,” said Gadbois. “Our leadership makes safety a priority. They know the fatality rates for falls, and they support our decisions to be tough on all fall protection plans.” T.H. Marsh has even eliminated the use of ladders in favor of man lifts. “The use of man lifts is much safer,” said Gadbois. “We don’t carry a paint bucket up a 20-foot extension ladder anymore. We work off a platform, and we are tied off to the platform.” STRUCK BY As a safety watch dog, Gadbois places a strong emphasis on pre-task planning and activity hazard analysis. “Pre-task planning and activity hazard analysis are the best tools that we have in the program,” said Gadbois. “That’s how fatalities and injuries are stopped - you plan your activities from start to finish.” Both initiatives are sound practice for fall prevention and all types of accidents, including those in the Struck By category. Struck By incidents resulted in 17 out of 73 fatalities from 2006 to 2010, meaning falls and Struck By accidents combined accounted for 41 out of 73 fatalities in recent

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CAM MAGAZINE

JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2012

“Voice Of The Construction Industry”®

January February CAM Magazine 2012  

IN THIS ISSUE: A Letter to the Membership from the President of CAM; On the Jobsite: Knowledge is Power at Expanded Manufacturing Facility C...

January February CAM Magazine 2012  

IN THIS ISSUE: A Letter to the Membership from the President of CAM; On the Jobsite: Knowledge is Power at Expanded Manufacturing Facility C...

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