Fall injury can be prevented with the right equipment. There are many different types of jobs requiring workers to climb or work at dangerous heights such as window cleaning or construction. Thankfully with the fall protection equipment workers can avoid all fall injuries at work.
However, fall arrest systems are often overlooked as part of a fall protection system. The quality and condition of the fall arrest system will ensure the integrity of the entire fall protection system.
The common fall protection measure that controls fall risk is the fall arrest system, which consists of a body harness, lanyard and anchor points. This system is powerful as it can alleviate all fall impacts including injuries caused by crashing. It maintains the body during and after the fall arrest.
1. Stop the worker from falling
The fall arrest system can safely stop a worker who is already falling from a working height level. The system consists of an anchorage, connector and body harness. It also includes a lanyard and other combinations. It is vital to inspect the fall arrest system for wear and tear, damage and other deterioration before use.
2. Passive system
Fall arrest systems are classified as a passive system which means that no active participation is required from the worker. During a fall a worker is in a state of shock or panic. The worker may not be in the right mindset to think of any precautionary measures. The fall arrest system will automatically stop the worker from striking the surface during the fall. The only important step is to ensure the fall arrest system is well fitted and secured on the worker before the work begins. The quality and integrity of the system should be inspected before use.
3. Cannot be protected by other fall protection systems
If the worksite does not support guardrails, safety nets and other safety fall protection, it is important to ensure that a fall arrest system is implemented. A fall arrest anchor system is crucial at construction sites or window cleaning sites where workers are performing roof work, height work or work from aerial lifts. This system can save a life should a fall occur.
4. Mandatory by health and safety authorities
Falls are the number one causes of injuries and deaths in Ontario which are usually experienced at construction sites. Ontario has a regulation on the work height permitted and the minimum requirement for fall protection for these specific heights. These authorities have mandated that workers who are exposed to fall hazards must be protected by the highest ranked method of fall protection. When guardrails and travel restraints are impractical, the best is to use a system that will immediately stop the worker from falling and hitting the ground or an object. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide working conditions that are free from known dangers.
5. The anchor points matter
The safety anchor points are a vital component of a fall arrest system. The anchor points are connected securely to the building roof and to the lanyard. Selecting the appropriate anchor points for your system is essential to ensure that the worker is protected during the fall. The anchorage offers rigidity and security.
Workers should be trained at assessing anchor strength, stability and the suitable location. Choose an anchor system that meets all standards including health and safety mandatory requirements. Make sure it can work with the unique conditions of the building. Obtain anchorages from suppliers who can assure you that the product will keep workers safe. Choose a supplier where their fall arrest anchors are utilized on various types of buildings.