100% Tie-Off: Lethal Connection to Sleep Deprivation?

100% Tie-Off: Lethal Connection to Sleep Deprivation?

100% Tie-Off.

We talk about it a lot. Number one safety issue through the wireless industry, NATE, WISPA, and all workers at height. The single largest cause of fatalities. Not enough emphasis can be placed on  being tied off at all times. We all know this, yet we all have to continue to stress the importance because of how many deaths and injuries continue to occur simply because a worker is not attached to a structure.

But why, or why not?

But why does a worker make the choice not to attach? I recently read a very interesting article in a UK based health and safety magazine. The information presented in this piece details the implications of sleep deprivation when it comes to workers, their safety, decision making processes and overall ability to work safely. Excerpt:

“Before you blame the worker, or even the PPE itself for workplace incidents, consider that the worker may be sleep deprived. Often, when a worker is confronted for violating the policy requiring fall protection, he or she will likely shrug and say, “I forgot.” Forgetting to wear gear that is so much a part of the work routine may sound like a lame excuse, but it may not be. Many safety professionals are realising that human errors, behavioural drift and even recklessness can be traced to a growing threat to workplace safety –a lack of sleep.”

Read more here.

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Be Safe!

Kevin Carter

3 Comments
  • Tim Wilkes
    Posted at 09:57h, 29 March Reply

    Often our personal habits determine your activity on the job; I have or had a habit of making sure what I am hooked off on is secure and will hold my weight but there are times I have caught myself or someone else not tied off due to a simple lapse of getting off task while moving around (seldom has it happened but it has happened). Often it comes down to our personal habits or routine, getting too comfortable in the job and distractions; today the job has been made much safer, I remember working 26 hours on a tour with coming down only once. We were focused and kept an eye on each other.
    Big boy rules apply but the basic 100% tie off must also be enforced, I have seen many companies that slap a guy on the wrist or look the other way when someone does not tie off. Personally I had no room for it and many of the men I worked with were the same, those that weren’t didn’t stay employed long or if it was the company and no change was in sight then I left them.
    Remember no matter how many rules OSHA or the industry makes in the end you usually have office people making rules that make the job more dangerous rather than safer. There is a point of no return and we must make that decision on our own for such legal decisions.

  • Steven Powell
    Posted at 07:17h, 27 March Reply

    Sounds like George is talking about making the tie off system Poke Yoke or automatic. Where the user has no choice but to hook up. It also needs to be super easy and quick to do (look up SMED).

    The system also needs to be flexible enough to do their jobs. I have heard many workers say that safety gear just gets in the way, even if they have been hurt before. Make the system easily manageable and you will go a long way towards the 100% tie off requirement.

    Truckers have a sleep requirement or they can only drive so many hours in a day. If they fall asleep, they can kill many people. If a person can only injure themselves, should they also have a sleep requirement? How would you enforce such a requirement? Maybe there should also be a breath analyzer to see if the person is under the influence of drugs of any kind, also? I can see a person being sleepy because the baby kept them up all night, but there needs to be a way for the user to honestly say they did not get any sleep and be reassigned to tasks that are safer that day “without repercussions”. If it is constantly a problem, then they should have a lifestyle change one way or another.

    What does this help-it would provide evidence of insure-ability and documents that a worker qualifies for work each day?

    As for “I forgot”, there comes a time when such statements just do not cut it. People on both sides need to be adults. My pre-teen children answer me that and we quickly figure out a way to help them “remember.”

  • George Bowen
    Posted at 13:44h, 26 March Reply

    CONSTANT AWARENESS IS KEY!!!!
    Perhaps an audible alarm should be part of the safety 100% tie off requirement, similar to the car safety belt alarm????

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