Ensuring adequate worker safety is of the utmost importance, particularly for laborers who face work at height challenges and the potential for serious injury due to falls. There are several ways of ensuring worker safety, including the careful selection of personal fall protection systems and providing workers with the training necessary to use them. Read on to find out more about fall protection on the job site.
The preferred method of fall protection across most industries is fall elimination. Fall elimination involves the use of specialized equipment to find ways to complete tasks without the need for working at heights, to begin with.
Often there is no way to avoid having at least a few workers working at heights. When this is the case, more attention must be given to providing workers with adequate safety equipment such as guardrails and other barricades placed near edges where fall hazards may occur. A second means of fall prevention, known as fall restraint, refers to the implementation of personal protective systems such as fall restraint lanyards to physically prevent workers from approaching dangerous edges.
The final safeguard for laborers who are working at heights is to implement fall arrest systems to safely stop workers who are already falling before they hit the ground. Personal fall arrest systems generally consist of an anchored structure or anchorage connector, a full body harness, a lanyard or other connector to connect the harness to the anchor, and a deceleration device. The deceleration device is an essential component, as it dissipates the potentially dangerous forces associated with fall arrest events.
In the event that fall arrest equipment must be utilized, it’s important that an emergency response plan is in place prior to beginning work. This plan should offer a clear and simple approach to rescuing any workers suspended after fall arrest events. All workers on the site need to be trained in the use of any equipment required and familiarize themselves with the site-specific plan in order to avoid the potentially serious effects of suspension trauma should a worker be trapped in the air after a fall arrest event.