It is no secret that construction workers lifting gear, rigging equipment, and material handling are at risk for falling and other accidents. OSHA follows a three step program to prevent falls and accidental deaths; plan, provide, and train.
Before you go ahead and purchase fall protection equipment, you need to determine the different risks and potential fall hazards in your workplace. The first step of action needed is to eliminate the potential risk of falling, and this could be as simple as moving your work to a ground floor.
It is essential you provide your team of employees with the right fall protection equipment.This can be split into three categories:
These are protective equipment that holds the worker in place when they are working, allowing them to be hands free. They limit falls to only two feet. They include full body harnesses, a connecting device that links you to a sturdy object, an anchor point that has been assessed by a professional to be completely safe and can hold double foreseeable force, and fall arrest backup which includes shock absorbing lanyards. Without this fall arrest backup protection, a person can fall up to seven feet in two-thirds of a second. When testing these, the minimum weight of 300 pounds should be used.
These are meant to protect a worker from reaching an unprotected ledge. This is done by limiting the length of the connector. One can also set up nets or slings in order to prevent any accidents.
3.A personal fall arrest system
These are devices meant to absorb energy when a person falls. This applies to any fall four feet or lower in general workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in construction areas, and eight feet in longshoring operations.
When wearing a harness it should fit snug across the waist, shoulders and pelvic area. This is so in case the worker falls, the pressure of impact is absorbed through the trunk of the body not just the abdominal region. It is also important that the anchor point it is connected has been inspected so there is no chance of falling.