Published on: May 25, 2013
Since falls from elevated heights are the leading cause of work related death and injuries, companies must take the necessary precautions to ensure that anyone who works in an elevated location is well protected. Fortunately, there is fall protection equipment available that will allow workers to safely complete their jobs, and fall arrest training will teach workers how to prevent job related falls.
What Is Fall Protection?
Fall protection is the equipment and training that a company provides in order to protect their employees from dangerous falls. It must be incorporated into every phase of the work planning process, including installation, use, and maintenance. Whether a building is being maintained or repaired, the building maintenance system must include the training and tools that are essential for keeping workers safe.
Fall protection training will help workers and their supervisors understand the importance of following safety procedures when they are working at elevated heights. This training covers the essential basics of fall protection for each type of repair and maintenance function. Workers would also be trained to properly use fall protection equipment designed for their specific tasks, as well as how to properly store and assemble safety equipment so that the building maintenance unit remains safe for workers.
Routine inspections are essential to ensure that all of the safety equipment is secure and functioning properly. The workers who will be using the equipment should inspect it before every use. Even if safety equipment is permanently attached to the exterior of a building, something as important as a window washing equipment inspection needs to be performed on a regular basis. Every business should also perform an annual inspection of building maintenance units to assess that all of the safety equipment they need is available to provide a safe working environment. They should also perform regular load testing of self powered platforms, and load testing of tiebacks.
Choosing the Best Fall Protection Equipment
There are many devices and systems on the market that are designed to prevent falls or reduce the severity of a fall. The type of equipment that a business uses depends on the work that will be done and the elevation of the work area. Fall arrest equipment specifically designed for the railroad, trucking, rooftop, petrochemical, and aircraft repair industries addresses the unique safety requirements and challenges of each. Businesses should carefully evaluate their working environment to decide which systems would best protect their employees.
Types of Fall Protection Equipment
Fall protection manufacturers design many different types of safety equipment that address specific fall arrest challenges. Facade access equipment is a perfect example of the numerous applications that safety equipment has been developed to handle. A davit system is a permanent safety device that is usually installed on a building, while a traction hoist is used for suspended platforms. There are also harnesses, lanyards, platforms, and safety nets that are designed to protect workers from fatal falls.
Fall protection is a very important aspect of working in elevated locations, and it is essential that businesses, supervisors, and workers take the necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Having a fall protection plan in place that outlines the responsibilities of each employee and how they should respond should a fall occur is just as critical as having the right equipment. With the proper procedures and equipment in place, workers can perform their jobs safely and to the best of their abilities.