Fall protection is an important part of any workplace – workers must be safe when they are working at height, and that’s why it is so important to choose the right fall protection system for your business. There are many different types of fall protection systems available, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Thankfully, we’re going to break them down.
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What is a Fall Protection System?
Although the name gives it away somewhat, a fall protection system is a device or system designed to safeguard workers when they are working at height. It can be used in conjunction with other safety measures, such as guardrails, to create an effective and comprehensive system that keeps people safe from potential falls.
Types of Fall Protection Systems
There are several different types of fall protection systems on the market, each designed to meet different needs and environments. Common types of fall protection systems include:
Personal Fall Arrest Systems: These are designed to stop a person from falling if they slip or lose their balance. They consist of an anchorage point, a body harness, and connectors that attach the two together.
Guardrails: These are designed to create a physical barrier between workers and potential fall hazards. Guardrails can be made of many different materials, including steel, aluminum, and plastic.
Safety Nets: Next, we have a product that will catch falling objects or people who have already fallen from heights. They consist of a netting material that absorbs the shock of a fall and protects the person who falls.
Ladders: Of course, ladders are another form of fall protection, and they’re often used in combination with other systems. They provide a secure platform to stand on while doing work at heights. It’s important to use ladders that meet OSHA requirements for safety and stability.
Harnesses: If you need to work at heights and don’t have anything to grab onto, you can use a harness. These devices provide a secure connection between the worker and an anchor point, preventing them from falling.
Testing and Certification
Ultimately, the best way to choose the right system is to undergo fall protection and roof anchor inspection, testing, and certification. What may seem like a safe system today may be inadequate next week or month. Make sure you’re always up to date on safety requirements and certifications that apply to your work environment.
What do inspection and testing entail? Inspection and testing of fall protection systems occur in two phases. First is the inspection phase, which involves visually inspecting the system for damage or wear and tear. After inspection, the system is tested to ensure it can withstand a designated fall-arresting force.
A certified inspector should conduct the inspections and tests. These professionals are trained in fall protection, so they’ll know what to look for and how to test the system properly. It’s also important to make sure the inspector is up to date on safety regulations, as these can change over time.
Once the system is tested, it’s important to document the results and keep records of any maintenance and inspections that have been done. This will help ensure the system is always up to date and ready for use.
When selecting a fall protection system, it’s important to consider the environment in which it will be used. For example, indoor spaces require specific fall protection systems that are not suitable for outdoor environments. It’s also important to consider the potential hazards in the environment, such as slippery surfaces or sharp objects.
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