5 Ways to Prevent Unauthorized Access to High-Risk Areas

Derek Tokarz

Derek Tokarz

Certified in Safety Management Group's Training in Fall Protection

Man Sitting on Building Roof

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about safety at your construction site, warehouse or other company buildings?

More than likely, you’re thinking of minimizing the risks of employees getting critically or fatally injured. Rightly so. According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 2015 was one of the worst years for fatal workplace injuries since 2008. In all, 4,836 deaths were attributed to workplace injuries in 2015.

And another study shows that falls from roofs make up one-third of work-related fatalities in the construction industry.

That’s why it’s critical to continue to prioritize workplace safety — including restricting access to areas that are considered high-risk for injuries.

Here are 5 top recommendations for ensuring safety at your workplace:

1. Designated restricted areas

Highly visible signage could be a key deterrent to unauthorized employees or visitors entering restricted areas. It’s a simple fix but cannot be ignored. Investing in signage that stands out, as well as brightly colored restricted area cones, can minimize risks for those who unwittingly enter dangerous areas.

2. Ladder cage gate

Fixed ladders longer than 20 feet are required by federal law to include a form of fall protection. There are several forms of fall protection currently. The cage, which is designed to prevent falls, must extend 42 inches above the top of the landing. It’s also important to ensure that employees are able to easily access the ladder without hitting their heads. That’s why OSHA regulations also require that the cage be installed between 7 to 8 feet from the ground. A well-designed ladder cage gate should allow you to secure entry to those not authorized in high-risk areas.

3. Lockable security door

A lockable security door also prevents unauthorized access to your fixed ladder. However, instead of attaching to the ladder cage itself, a lockable security door can be affixed to the front of the ladder. When in place, the door should close soundly across the front of the ladder. This restricts access to the ladder rungs, which means the ladder is inaccessible.

4. Safety training

Maintaining regular training of employees about safety regulations also is an OSHA requirement. Regularly provide updates of new regulations, changes within your facility, and safety statistics to current employees and make sure safety training is included in new employee onboarding. Review OSHA’s guidelines for employee training to ensure that you’re in compliance. Showing videos is always a recommendation to help illustrate the dangers.

5. Digital security

Increasingly popular in guarding data center equipment, electronic locking systems and video surveillance also are options for securing access to warehouses, construction areas, and other high-risk areas of your operations. Assess your facility to determine if these are an option worth considering — especially video surveillance.

Unauthorized access to restricted, high-risk areas can lead to employee and visitor injuries and, in some cases, fatalities. Prevention is essential. For a consultation on how FIXFAST’s ladder gates and security doors can assist in keeping your operations a safe environment, contact us today.

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