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Fall Protection – Preventing Falls through Holes

A construction worker fell through an unprotected hole on the fifth floor of a building under construction.  Another worker had removed the plywood because it was damaged and planned to replace it with new plywood.  However, he was called away by another worker who needed some supplies.  The injured worker was walking on the fifth floor and did not see the unprotected hole falling to the fourth floor resulting in injuries to his legs and back.

Here are some important tips to remember:

  • Cover or guard the hole if you create, uncover or see a hole
  • Label all covers with the word “HOLE” or “COVER to warn others
  • Watch out for co-workers and take action toward unprotected holes
  • Ensure covers can support at least 2 times the weight of workers, equipment and materials
  • Make sure guardrails are used if the hole is larger than the plywood
  • Fasten all covers with screws or nails so they do not move