Fall protection is implemented when performing work at height or near an edgy or steep surface. Negligence in the selection of appropriate equipment of proper quality may lead to ill consequences. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the period 2003-2007, where 686 fatalities of construction workers were reported that resulted from falls from roofs.According to WHO(2017), falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death causing an estimated 646 000 fatal falls occur each year.
Opting best protection measure for workers is the preliminary requisite in reducing or eliminating falls. This can only be done by a thorough understanding of risks involved and deployment of personal fall protection equipment combined with hands-on-training and adoption of safety practices.
Fall protection equipment is basically used for fall elimination, prevention, and arrest. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is defined as “anything worn or carried that protects the user from hazards which could lead to personal injury.” The fall protection system has four components- personal fall protection equipment, Training, Compliance to the use of equipment and instruction associated &Inspections for assessing adherence to the above components.
Personal Fall Protection Equipment (PFPE)
PFPE provides protection against the finite risk of a fall while working at height. PFPE include only the items that are worn or carried by the workers. On the basis of work and risk level, PFPEs are classified broadly into three:
Travel restraint PFPE– Its sole objective is fall prevention. A design does not include any shock or energy absorber.
Positioning PFPE- Its intent is to safeguard workers climbing heights by cable/rail or to fetter and position the person working hands-free. This is achieved through complete or partial suspension to stop a fall in-under 24 inches.
Personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) – its purpose is to protect the body. It includes full body harness, PFPE connected with devices like shock-absorbers, fall limiters, self-retracting lifelines.
ABCs of Fall Protection
Fall protection equipment can be summed up into ABCs on the basis of application:
Anchorage connectors– these support the weight of individual while falling. The choice of anchors and anchor connectors depend on the strength required for supporting weights, shape, material, and configuration. Anchor points may be fixed or mobile depending on the requirement.
Body Harness– it distributes the force over maximum part of the body and ensures that the individual falling remains suspended in the upright position after a fall. A full-body harness must include a compatible hardware, sturdy webbing with minimum 22 kN tensile strength (ANSI standard) and robust and pliable padding.
Connecting devices– It links the body harness to anchor connector and points. Based on the use, lanyards are of two types; Non-shock-absorbing and shock-absorbing.
Working at heights is a highly risky job and claims many lives worldwide. The choices involved in PFPEs can be the line between life and death. Best fall protection equipment and safety practices must be used for minimizing the risk.
Beam Runner is a leading seller of various fall protection equipment with their specialty. The experts at Beam Runner say that it is very important to choose the equipment carefully on which your life is depended. You need to take advice from the professionals, such as that of the company, to select your appropriate tool.