Airmen participate in Fall Protection Focus weeks

By 62nd Airlift Wing Safety Office on May 12, 2016

Air Force Occupational Safety will sponsor Fall Protection Focus weeks now through May 13, to draw attention to avoidable mishaps due to falls, said Ken Heath, 62nd Airlift Wing ground safety chief.

During calendars years 2011-2015, falls were responsible for 6,724 Air Force injuries that resulted in 42,539 lost work days at a cost of nearly $65 million, according to Air Force occupational safety professionals.

"If people take time to consider safety measures before planning an event, it could prevent a serious accident from occurring," said Heath. "It only takes a few moments to go through the ‘what if?' scenarios to keep things safe."

Throughout the Fall Protection focus period, Air Force occupational safety professionals will remind Team McChord members of the dangers of preventable falls.

"Prevention of fall-related injuries and fatalities through education and awareness keeps our airmen mission-ready," said Bill Parsons, Air Force chief of occupational safety. "Fall-related injuries result not only from activities involving heights; falls occur more commonly on wet surfaces or stumbles over obstacles in walkways. Most falls are preventable if we follow the appropriate safety guidelines and focus on basic safety practices."

During this two-week focus, every individual or unit should take some time to review fall hazards in their workplace and at home. Supervisors can work with unit safety representatives (USRs) to develop events such as a discussion, a presentation, or invite a guest speaker to highlight fall risks.

The 62nd Airlift Wing Occupational Safety office and USRs will conduct spot inspections of workplace fall protection equipment and plans, ladder safety programs, and applicable passive fall protection systems such as railing and barriers during this time period.

Additional guidance, videos and posters can be found on the Air Force Safety Center's webpage: