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How Fall Protection Benefits Your Workforce & Insurance Premium


As the weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and social calendars fill up, a focus on safety in the workplace often takes a backseat. Due to the increase in incidents in the summer months, the National Safety Council has deemed June its annual National Safety Month. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics1, the months of June, July, and August are known to produce the most workplace injuries, with the number one most frequently cited standard being fall protection2. Implementing strong fall protection guidelines will not only keep your team members safe, but it will also help mitigate rising insurance costs if showcased correctly.

Falls Can Happen on Any Job Site

The CDC states that while deaths by falls happen primarily in the construction sector (37% of fatalities in the industry in 2021were from falls), the highest rates of nonfatal fall industries are in the health services, wholesale, and retail sectors4. Falls, unfortunately, do not discriminate by industry. While the topic of fall protection can land on deaf ears, it is vital that companies not only know the OSHA standards but implement these protective measures daily for every single job. 

To create a workplace with high safety scores and low incident rates, leadership should be up to date on OSHA standards and focus on protections for their specific industry and equipment. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry, and eight feet in long shoring operations5. Additionally, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance. Employers must also guard every hole and provide guardrails and toe-boards on applicable surfaces. Other means of fall protection may also be required, such as safety harnesses or stair hand railings. 

As an employer, it is essential to know the right ladder or scaffolding equipment required to safely complete the job. For example, in roofing, if workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), employers should provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor, make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect it for safe use. Whether an employer is using a PFAS or other fall prevention equipment, they should always refer to OSHA for details on the specific type of fall protection required for each type of work. Remember, the goal is not to bury a company in ‘to-do’s” but rather prevent injuries that are truly avoidable with the right precautions. 

The Importance of a Designated Safety Team  

Despite a company’s best efforts, there are many minute details within the fall protection guidelines that could easily be missed. To provide the best safety protocols possible, it is crucial to either entrust a safety manager with the responsibility of staying compliant with all required safety guidelines or rely on an outsourced safety advisor. These professionals should be consistently up to date on safety regulations and should be empowered by organizational leadership to enact changes as necessary. At Swingle Collins, we understand that not every company has a safety manager on staff. Our clients have access to our Swingle Collins Loss Control Powered by STC services, which fills that void and can provide onsite inspections, recommendations, training, and assist with implementing safety protocols. For companies without the capacity for in-house safety officers, a third-party partner can make an invaluable difference. 

The Impact of Fall Protection Guidelines on Your Insurance Premium

As a company’s Risk Advisor, we recognize the increased expense of insurance premiums and believe it is our job to make sure we are each company’s biggest advocate, despite the difficult market. It is more likely for an underwriter to deem an account worthy of credits or rate reduction when there are tangible items that showcase a company’s ability to keep its workplace safe. 

For example, if a company has copies of fall protection toolbox talks they’ve conducted or a strongly documented pre-hire screening process, an underwriter can document that this company does not have a low loss rate or is claims-free by chance, but because they are exceptional in their risk management. Similarly, if a company has a history of claims related to safety incidents, strong documentation of updated procedures highlights their corrective action plan and can help mitigate insurance increases. The best return on the insurance investment is achieved by advocating for your company year-round, not just 30 days before renewal. Regularly maintaining and updating safety standards helps us as Risk Advisors provide the best case for premium discounts. 

Ultimately, fall protection saves lives, and in the insurance industry, our job is to help protect your most valuable asset: your people. If you don’t know where to start with fall protection guidelines, are unsure of how you’re being portrayed in the insurance marketplace, or would like more clarity on how lower risk directly correlates to lower insurance premiums, reach out to our Commercial Risk Advisors at info@swinglecollins.com.







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There are two traits you’ll find in every Swingle Collins Risk Advisor—unsurpassed knowledge of insurance products, and a steadfast commitment to recommending the solutions that are best aligned with your business and personal goals.

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