LJB Inc. Safety Sessions Tackle Fall Safety Paradox

At the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Safety 2009 conference LJB Inc. and Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) will detail how MPL's new fall protection program, based on the ANSI Z359.2 standard, has reduced fall risks and enhanced employee safety.

By partnering with LJB Inc., a safety, facility, and infrastructure design firm, MPL completed a three-year assessment program to identify fall hazards at MPL locations throughout the nation. MPL has begun the process of addressing the identified hazards--as defined by OSHA and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.

Tracey Riepenhoff, P.E., C.S.P., P.M.P., managing principal at LJB Inc. and Andrea Holtz C.H.M.M., environmental and safety field services supervisor at Marathon Pipe Line LLC, will co-present "Managed Fall Protection Programs: A Case Study" on Tuesday, June 30th at 10:45 a.m. at session 617.

"Forward-thinking companies are now adopting elements of the new ANSI Z359.2 standard to create a safer work environment," Riepenhoff said. "By focusing on employee training and hazard identification, companies can significantly improve employee safety by eliminating and controlling fall hazards."

While MPL's abatement program is successful, a stunning paradox points to a need for a greater overall focus on fall protection. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, occupational fall education and safety-related equipment sales increased from 1995-2007. This increase happened in the same time period when fatalities due to falls increased about 30 percent, while overall workplace fatalities decreased by 12 percent.

To address the paradox, Kevin Wilcox, P.E., C.S.P., principal at LJB Inc. will present solutions to the three most common fall protection mistakes at session 535 on Monday, June 29th at 3:15 p.m.

Wilcox's "Evaluation and Control of Fall Hazards - Lessons Learned" session is in direct response to inquiries for guidance when evaluating and controlling fall hazards.

"Although it's tempting to solve the hazards that appear to be the obvious risks," Wilcox said, "it is critical to step back and establish a method and priorities for creating a manageable and sustainable program. Doing so then translates into a consistently safe environment for workers."

According to Wilcox, the three most common mistakes when confronting the fall protection issue are doing nothing, solving the wrong problem, and choosing the wrong solution. Wilcox will provide a meaningful base for understanding cost effective methods of preventing fall fatalities by using real life examples in a fictional setting. The presentation will include helpful tips such as consulting workers, conducting fall hazard assessments, and avoiding past mistakes.

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