This week is Construction Safety Week. 


Safety Week was initially formed in 2014, when more than 40 national and global construction firms joined forces to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety.


One of the missions of Safety Week is to share best practices and to work together to strengthen the industry’s safety culture. 


To do our part, we sat down with one of our partners, BALICORE’s Safety Supervisor, Caleb Sipe. 


Here are 5 best practices he shared with us when working in Vertical Construction: 


1.     USE RAILING. Railing is a form of Passive protection, which means taking an action to prevent an accident from occurring. Putting up railing on your site is the easiest and most recommended way to keep your workers safe. 

2.     INSPECT PPE. Faulty or worn-down PPE can have serious consequences to a worker. Harnesses and lanyards need to be inspected annually by a competent person, if not more frequently and Sipe says it's very important workers inspect their PPE prior to every use.

3.     UNDERSTAND POTENTIAL FALL DISTANCE. OSHA’s construction standard for when to implement fall protection is a minimum of 6ft. When calculating your fall distance, you need to include the length of your lanyard when deployed, your body length below the D-ring, and any sag in your harness and anchor system.

4.     SELECT AN ACCEPTABLE ANCHOR POINT. An anchor point is typically installed on a roof and connects lanyards and lifelines to a worker wearing a body harness.


According to Sipe there are 2 things that make an anchor point acceptable: 

·       It’s designed and approved by a professional engineer that has calculated the expected loads

·       It can handle a load of 5,000 pounds


Structural steel with a proper beam clamp is the perfect choice for an anchor when an engineer approved anchor is not available. 

5.     USE LADDERS PROPERLY. While they might look straight forward, Sipe says ladders cause approximately 20% of fall injuries. According to the CDC, at least 300 people die from ladder falls each year.


Below are 4 tips to keep in mind when handling a ladder: 

·       Have a 3 ft. railing extension of the ladder past the level to which you are climbing

·       Have a 4:1 ratio of rise and run (for every four feet high the ladder rises, place the base of the ladder one foot away from the structure)

·       Ensure you always have three points of contact with the ladder. For example, two legs, one hand or two hands, one leg. 

·       Always inspect your ladders before each use. Physical damage is an obvious thing to keep an eye out for but making sure the labels are legible is equally as important. Making sure the ladder can support your weight (which also includes your tools) is a good place to start. This information should be found on your ladder, along with other manufacturer specifications. 


For more information on Construction Safety Week click here. To learn more about our Partners at BALICORE click here.