How to Implement a Dropped Objects Prevention Plan – Part 4
The following is the last post in our four-part series on implementing a dropped objects prevention program. In part four, we’ll focus on how to launch your dropped objects prevention program in the highest hazard area of your workplace, review it, and (hopefully), expand it. If you missed Part 1, 2 or 3 you can read them here: How to Implement a Dropped Objects Prevention Plan – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
Like climbing ladders or stairs, there are certain steps you should take to successfully implement a dropped objects prevention plan on your jobsite. Regardless of industry, your roadmap should be:
Call to Action
Identify Risk & Define Scope
Review & Expand
After the first six steps are complete, you’re ready to launch your new dropped objects prevention program. Bear in mind that it is a trial-and-error process, so you should anticipate that you will need to analyze and optimize the program once enough time has passed before you can expand it to the rest of your company.
Conduct safety training with your workers per your documented objects at heights policy. This should be an expanded group from your initial training in step 4 that involves personnel from other areas, locations and sub-contractors where appropriate. This will get a larger group involved and set the stage for the expansion discussed in step 8 of this roadmap.
Launching the program includes procurement and installation of your solutions. Accumulate the total number of tools that will be tethered at height based on your tool inventory log and purchase these dropped objects solutions. Under the oversight of your Tool & Equipment Champion, install the safety solutions for the tools (large and small) that you will be using at heights. Decide which objects should be trapped, tethered or topped, and make sure each crew member feels comfortable doing so. It is helpful to overlap this with the larger scale training to get a variety of individuals comfortable with using and installing at-heights solutions.
REVIEW & EXPAND
After a predetermined period, review how the program is working. Document changes and see if your goals are being met. You should expand it to other areas, jobs, tasks, tools, etc. only after you feel comfortable that any adjustments are modest in nature.
Remember, objects at heights controls must be implemented, maintained, and used correctly for them to be effective. Holistic management of an effective DROPS program means continuous assessment and improvement from safety managers and executives. Otherwise, people (and equipment) will remain at risk.
A word of warning: Don’t implement these policies on a wholesale basis. Attempting to roll out such detail-oriented change across the board on a large scale can lead to failure. Instead, introduce it to the most critical parts of your company or jobsite and expand the program once it has proven to be successful.
If you’re ready to green-light program expansion, remember to patiently work through the hierarchy of controls to identify holistic controls based on the known hazards of each respective area.
For decades, the only dropped object safety program companies implemented involved hard hats and caution tape. Innovation has brought better mitigation within the hierarchy of controls to help prevent dropped objects. Like any safety program developed from scratch, there are a host of challenges along the way. Do not let those challenges or the excuse of “we’ve never had a struck-by accident before” keep you from delivering a safer work environment for your colleagues and friends. Use this eight-step roadmap to guide you and do not hesitate to lean on Ergodyne for support along the way.
This concludes our four-part series on launching an effective dropped objects prevention program in your workplace. You can read and refer back to parts one, two and three. You can find more objects at heights-related resources below. And be sure to browse our website for all your dropped objects prevention safety solution needs.