Leading edge hazards are often misunderstood and overlooked on today’s highly visible jobsites. Evidence is readily available via images shared on construction-related social media accounts.
In the context of people showing pride for the hard work they do or the extreme conditions under which they work, posts offer glimpses into the methods employed to mitigate fall hazards. Alarmingly, many of these methods do not adhere to industry-accepted standards, especially in the case of leading edge applications.
The definition of “leading edge” itself has undergone somewhat of a transformation since its introduction by OSHA to its current use by ANSI in the Z359.14-2014 “Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems” standard. OSHA defines a leading edge as an “unprotected side or edge during periods when it is actively or continuously under construction,” giving many the impression that a leading edge was a temporary condition found only during the construction of a structure.
Reprinted courtesy of Baxter Byrd, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.