Unsafe Behaviors

Unsafe Behaviors

Not-So-Great Moments In Safety

Jill James

Jill James

Chief Safety Officer

Jill James brings an unrivaled perspective on risk, regulation and liability. With 14 years of experience as a Senior OSHA Safety Investigator with the State of Minnesota, and nearly a decade in the private sector as a safety program manager, Jill is a passionate advocate for training ROI.

Demo our Personal Fall Arrest Systems course

What’s the hazard here? The employee is working from an unprotected side or edge without benefit of a fall protection measure. 

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the concept of Behavior-Based Safety. Ultimately, we don’t know if this employee—dangerously perched on a ledge without benefit of fall protection—wasn’t given the correct equipment to do his work safely or trained to identify an unsafe behavior or if he made a choice. If it was a choice, then it was an unsafe behavior which put him in jeopardy of a fall.

Can this hazard be corrected? Certainly; one method to reach the area safely could include an aerial lift, which can articulate over the stairs. In that case, the employee could be working from an basket with a guardrail system. 

Any laws around this?  Yes.

29 CFR 1910.28(b)(1)(i) states, the employer must ensure that each employee on a walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level is protected from falling by one or more of the following: Guardrail systems; Safety net systems; or Personal fall protection systems, such as personal fall arrest, travel restraint, or positioning systems. 

Conversation Starters: Have you ever done pre-shift meetings? Do you ever talk about the work being done that day and whether or not employees have the equipment and tools needed to do the job safely? Give it a try!