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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

I can’t think of a better way to kick off Stand-Down week than with a quote from Louis Pasteur you may or may not have heard: “Chance (or fortune) favors the prepared mind.” In his work as a scientist, Pasteur knew that in order to recognize a breakthrough, he had to be prepared to recognize it. He knew he couldn’t just plod along glibly and expect something important to simply jump out at him; he had to sharpen his skills of observation, deduction, reasoning, and imagination so that when something changed he knew it, and could react to it.

What does Pasteur’s quote have to do with fall protection and Stand-Down week? Everything. As a fall protection professional, it is unrealistic to think that an untrained (or unprepared) person will be able to recognize the existing and potential fall risks on a jobsite. That their presence or simple concern for safety in itself is enough to keep themselves and other safe on the job. Only a person who has sharpened their skills through education and experience will have the ability to identify and mitigate the myriad potential hazards found on jobsites across the world.

And even once a person is trained, the best way to ensure a jobsite has been properly audited is to put all that training to good use with a formal, written fall protection and rescue plan. Creating and following a fall protection and rescue plan allows you to methodically inspect a jobsite so you can be confident that nothing goes uninspected or addressed.

The same goes for a formal rescue plan. The best time to plan for a rescue is before it happens, while heads are cool, thoughts are clear, and emotions are in check. It won’t do a fallen worker any good if the first time anyone thinks about a rescue is after a fall happens. Make a plan, write it down, and keep it in a location that is easily accessible. Lives (maybe even yours) are on the line.  

To get you off on the right foot this week, we’ve made a fall protection/rescue plan outline you can download. Read it, understand it, and add to it if needed. Once you’ve filled it out, share it with others, and consult with other fall protection professionals to ensure all your bases are covered.  Then, make sure others know where the plan is. It won’t do any good sitting under your lunch box in the truck.

 

Click the image to download the file

Fall Protection_Rescue_Plan_Cover.jpg

 

Now that we’ve got you identifying existing/potential hazards and planning rescues, tomorrow we’ll take a look at selecting the right equipment to protect you from those hazards. Until then, be safe up there!