A construction framer talks about protecting his crew from falls.

A construction framer talks about protecting his crew from falls.


My name is Mike Pelky, I’ve worked in construction
for 20 plus years. I’ve been here with LeBlanc for 10 years, going on 11 and I’m a carpentry
rough framer. Full fall protection means anything like over
6 feet you need to be tied off, or working on a ladder, or on scaffold. Sometimes we use ropes, and then we use the PSFAs, or personal fall safety arrest systems. They are kind of like a yo-yo, that cable that comes out. and it retracts and goes back
and forth. I was telling the guys earlier, we try to
do a lot of work on the ground because its a lot easier than when you are up in the air.
Anytime you are up in the air it is harder work, on a ladder, scaffold, on the roof,
anything. It’s always harder and more difficult to navigate through things and do things.
So its better to do, like try to figure out where your swing fall is going to be, build
your trusses on the ground, and then try to get your anchor points on those, so when you
send them up in the air you have a good anchor point already there and you’re not fumbling
with it, with the ladder and trying to get to it and figure out how to get to it. Gearing up is not too bad, once you already have the fall protection in place and the
anchors in place, its not to bad. Getting to that point takes a couple of hours, and
then the harnessing is not that bad, I mean to put on a harness only takes maybe 5 minutes
at the most, and then there is checking all of your equipment, and making sure everything
is in good working condition. So it’s not really that much of a time, once you get into
a habit of doing it, it’s not that bad. My experience is, it was rough, very rough
at the first time, very hard to get used to and it’s a little complicated to figure it
out. But we got through it, we figured out easier ways how to do it, and we’re doing
it, and it’s working out. I fell a couple of times, when I was working
for another company. I broke 3 ribs, and that wasn’t fun, that was hard. Because I was out
of work for 4 months, with 3 broken ribs it was, it was not a good thing. If I’d have
had fall protection, it would have never happened. They have to wear it, but I, if you ask those
guys, I don’t know how they feel about it but I think they should wear it, especially
on tall roofs, when they’re working 20 feet plus above, I mean even 10 feet is a good
fall, so, they should be wearing it then. Go into it with an open mind and say look,
we can make this work, these guys are making it work so, it works.

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