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Why Your Team Needs OSHA Compliant Hole Covers

Why Your Team Needs OSHA Compliant Hole Covers

There are more than 50,000 (or 2%) "struck-by falling objects" OSHA recordable injuries every year in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's one injury caused by a dropped object every 10 minutes. Workers were fatally struck-by falling objects in the workplace 247 times in 2015.

Struck-by falling object related fatalities represent 5% of all workplace deaths or fatalities each year according to the BLS.

Hole Covers

Hand in hand with falling objects, and commonly considered two of the “fatal four,” falls and dropped objects are the leading causes of death and injury within the construction industry. Unfortunately, floor holes or gaps are common on construction sites and are notorious for producing dangerous hazards that can result in a fatal accident. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Thunderbird Hole Covers are OSHA Compliant labor saving devices for work sites or areas where floor holes and openings are present.

Hole Covers are tools that are placed over the site of the fall hazard, in order to prevent accident or injury caused by an open or unmarked hole, and we have them in stock at Black Box Safety.

OSHA Floor Hole Cover Requirements

Outside of the construction industry, “hole” and “opening” are words that we use to indicate a lack of a certain area. Within the industry, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) defines floor holes on a work site as "a gap or void 2 inches...or more in its least dimension, in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface." OSHA regulation 1926.500 (b) Meanwhile, categorizing an opening as “…a gap or void 30 inches (76 cm) or more high and 18 inches (48 cm) or more wide, in a wall or partition, through which employees can fall to a lower level.” [OSHA regulation 1926.500 (b)]. 

Common examples of floor holes could include:

  • Roof or floor drains
  • Missing floor boards
  • Skylights
  • Drilled holes
  • Chipped or broken concrete
  • Elevator shafts
  • Manholes
  • Concrete openings

OSHA has two requirements in regards to holes and hole covers. OSHA requirements for hole covers first states that

“employees must be protected from falling through holes more than 6 feet deep by fall arrest systems, guardrails or hole covers.”

The second osha floor hole cover requirement states that

“Employees must be protected from tripping or falling into holes by placing hole covers over them, and hole covers must be used on holes bigger than 2 inches or more.”

Similarly, OSHA provides regulations for openings, stating that

“Each employee working on, at, above, or near wall openings (including those with chutes attached) where the outside bottom edge of the wall opening is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels and the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches (1.0 m) above the walking/working surface, shall be protected from falling by the use of a guardrail system, a safety net system, or a personal fall arrest system.”

Industries That Need OSHA Floor Hole Covers

The construction and demolition industries are among the largest consumers of hole covers and fall protection. They are also the leading fields in fatal and non-fatal fall statistics. Due to the nature and environment of work, construction and residential projects industries need OSHA hole covers to prevent and protect against holes that could result in a fatal or serious fall. Holes that can be found inside of buildings, roofs, bridges, roadways, warehouses and other worksites present many potentially safety hazards for workers. Examples of holes found in these environments typically include skylights, missing steps, unfinished stairs, manholes, unsupported or unmarked walkways, roof ducts, drains, and chutes. Holes that are improperly marked, unguarded, or unprotected are commonly responsible for a number of preventable injuries within a work site.

Types of OSHA Hole Cover Solutions

Don’t become a statistic. At Black Box Safety, we supply two high-quality adjustable Thunderbird concrete core hole covers for your fall and dropped object protection needs. The hole covers are designed to adjust into any diameter opening – from 2” to 6” or 6” to 12” – and meet OSHA standards for fall and trip hazards.

Don't wait. Keep you and your employees safe. Call us today to prevent a serious or life threatening injury.

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