Fall Hazard Control: Part 2 Elimination

In our introductory post about this topic we discussed how fall hazard control – and corresponding cost control – is increasingly being considered in constructability analyses. “Constructability” is a project management technique that reviews a building project from start to finish, during the pre-construction phase.

We also introduced the three types of fall hazard control: elimination, prevention, and protection. We will discuss prevention and protection in subsequent posts.

Elimination is the first and most effective line of defense against falls from heights. It essentially means that potential hazards should be designed out of facilities while “on the drawing board” – that is, during a constructability analysis.

As the chart indicates, the ability to influence cost is at its highest during the conceptual planning and design phases of the project.

Effective use of fall hazard elimination techniques relies heavily upon the knowledge and experience gained from past projects as well as accessing insights from operations and maintenance staff, designers, construction personnel, and the workers themselves.

When properly planned, large-size projects have the greatest potential to eliminate substantial elevated (such as rooftop) work hazard exposures.

The type of roofing system selected for a building – whether new construction or retrofit – can also help in this regard. An easily-installed, pre-manufactured roofing system reduces the number of installer hours on the rooftop, “eliminating” exposure hours. Other methods include remote control or automated installation.

A roofing system that requires minimal maintenance over its life cycle also eliminates rooftop worker exposure hours.