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Weekly Toolbox Talk: War on Falls - Stilts

Notice to supervisors: If you are not using stilts on your job, make sure you mention the War on Falls for ladders, lifts, scaffolds, guardrails, and holes. Make sure you also mention the two-day suspension for any fall exposure.

Only those employees who have been certified under the company’s stilt policy will be allowed to use stilts.

Employees shall always use a stable surface, scaffold, material stack, or wall for support when getting on or off stilts. When mounting stilts, the top leg strap first will be buckled first. When dismounting, the leg strap is unbuckled last
 (wheels on scaffold must be locked).

Today we will discuss the simple precautions that when integrated into daily work routine, can help to prevent most stilt injuries. Let us review the most common causes of stilt injuries.

Tripsare caused by cardboard boxes, carpet edges, extension cords, loose wires, power tool cords, scaffold wheels, drywall scrap, stacks of wood, tool carts, framing materials and plastic floor covering.

Slipsare cause by metal debris, wet finishing compound, metal nuts, metal screws water and oil.

Poor stilt maintenanceis another leading cause of falls from stilts. Examples of poor stilt maintenance that can lead to an injury include a broken or loose strap, a wing nut falling out of a stilt, a broken spring and a broken leg bracket.

Stilt MaintenanceAll stilts will be equipped with the tie down straps on the top and bottom of the lower strut tube for added security. Any defective stilt will be taken out of service immediately. Stilts shall only be repaired using parts from the manufacturer. Every employee is allotted $35.00 annually for replacement parts.

Additional causes for stilts injuries include putting on/taking off stilts, loose of balance, hitting one’s head on fixtures (door jamb, sprinkler) and bending over (picking up mud bucket, getting through a door). You must remember to be very careful because you are also exposed of getting things in the eye while walking stilts like ceiling wires, electrical wire, and infection from stilt straps. Pushing materials with legs while wearing stilts is not allowed.

The following should be done each time the work progresses into a new area, or at the beginning of the shift:

  • Identify and remove (where possible) objects that may result in a fall.

  • Sweep the floor.

  • Carry brooms onto the site along with equipment and tools

Stay away from:

  • Congested areas that are not suitable for stilts

  • All materials, equipment, or trash piles at least 3 feet.

  • At least 20 feet of un-guarded open railing, windows any wall opening, window

    opening or shafts.

  • Using ladders to climb stilts, this is a dangerous practice and it has been the cause of several accidents. The use of ladders to climb stilts is prohibited and it is considered a fall exposure as is not the intended per the manufacturer.

    REMEMBER! Any employee in violation of this safety rules will be subject to a disciplinary action with a minimum suspension of two days.


Toolbox Talk