three points of contact helps prevent falls

05/09/2018

Most folks that run businesses requiring employees climb in and out of trucks or heavy equipment know the safe way to do so is by a 3-point contact.  Simply put, 3-points of contact is defined as always having one foot and two hands or one hand and two feet in contact with a handle, ladder or piece of the equipment.

An Ohio ready-mix company performed a companywide analysis and found that with a fleet of 300 drivers, there were 24,000 potential mixer truck climbing accidents every day.  This was based on 10 climbing movements for each of 6 daily loads plus another 20 times per day per driver for additional climbing movements.  Now, a mixer operator may do more climbing in, off or around their vehicles than your employees but the number of potential accidents add up quickly.

Nationwide, falls account for about 15% of all workplace deaths and is second only to auto accidents.  70% of all falls from equipment occurred at the bottom step.  

Keep these factors in mind to help prevent injuries from falls:

  • Never forget the 3-point contact.
  • Never jump off a ladder or from the last step.
  • Always look at the ground before stepping down.
  • Be extra careful during adverse weather conditions.
  • Always mount or dismount facing the equipment.
  • Ensure the vehicle is stationary with the parking brake set.
  • Inspect climbing surfaces for mud, ice, snow, grease or any other hazards.
  • Never attempt to climb or descend with anything in your hands.
  • Consider the use of warning decals or signs in the cab as a reminder of the 3-point contact.