USAG HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- Fall protection safety equipment and training have evolved over the years, reinforcing continuous safety on construction sites. According to the Center of Disease Control’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, falls remained the leading cause of work-related construction deaths, accounting for more than one in three (36.4%) of the total number of fatalities in the industry in 2019.
Due to the nature of the Far East District’s work, it is imperative that FED personnel are trained to prevent mishaps through planning, preparation, and proper execution.
Chad Hudson, an FED Security and Operations Resident Office construction representative and fall protection program administrator, ensures that the District complies with Engineer Manual 385 1-1 and the Corps of Engineers Safety and Occupational Health Management System through training. Most recently, Hudson led a District-wide training covering fall protection, Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
The training covered the proper use of fall protection equipment, the inspection process, and the ability to recognize safety hazards associated with the use of the equipment for construction representatives and project engineers.
“I got my trainer certification back in June of 2011 and I have seen a lot of rules and laws change over that span of time,” said Hudson. “The common trend is to always come up with the best way to protect the worker.
“I start every class with a simple quote, ‘I want you to go home in the same condition you arrived’ he said. “I want you to be able to play catch or ride a bike with your kids just like you did yesterday. We aren’t just working for the fun of it, we do it to take care of our families and I want to see you continue that success in a safe and hazard-free workplace.”
Other training topics included how to anchor on various types of guardrails, such as wood, pipe, structural steel, and steel cable. Secured netting on scaffolding, restraint positioning, and fall arrest can help lessen the impact of a fall.
“I was thrilled to participate in this training and gain knowledge of how to protect our co-workers and contractors better,” said Rick Thomas, an FED Family Housing Resident Office construction control representative.
“The calculation of the total fall height and the importance of the placement of the anchoring point impacted me the most. This training provided me with a more in-depth knowledge of protecting my peers and contract workers from falls and minimizing the risk of injury.”
All trainees will have an hour of additional training annually to keep their certification current. This will cover topics like new products or new requirements under OSHA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The next FED fall protection training is projected to be held within the next few months.