What You Need to Know About Fall Protection
Using the right equipment and knowing all about protecting yourself while on a site is something that all construction professionals learn from day one. However, each job site is different and has its own unique requirements and challenges. This can often leave workers feeling unsure about a lot of things. Safety nets, harnesses and guardrails probably come to mind when people hear the words fall protection. However, there is much more to a comprehensive fall protection setup.
Continue reading to learn more about what you need to know regarding fall protection:
When is Fall Protection Required
Fall protection is required if a fall of 3 metres or more may occur. It is also required when a fall from less than 3 metres would injure an employee more than falling to a flat surface.
What Must a Fall Protection System Consist Of
Depending on the circumstances, a fall protection system consists of either a fall restraint system or a fall arrest system or simply having approved procedures in place. A fall restraint system prevents the worker from falling, while a fall arrest system stops a worker from hitting the ground after they have fallen off the work surface.
What Must a Personal Fall Protection System Consist Of
A personal fall protection system consists of either the fall restraint system or the fall arrest system, along with a safety belt or harness and a lanyard or lifeline securing the employee to an anchor.
Other Important Items
Employers and employees both have a part to play in the fall protection program at their work places, however, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure all of the requirements and procedures are met ahead of time. In order to eliminate fall hazards and protect workers, certain behavior and actions are required.
Employers do their part by providing safe working conditions. If they discover any possible fall hazards, they must identify and eliminate them. The onus is on the employer to consistently and diligently train and educate employees in how to identify a potential fall area or zone and follow safe practices.
Employees must follow these safe practices at all times. They also have to use the safety equipment appropriately and properly at all times. Employees should embrace and take a pro-active approach to training on a regular basis. Workers should learn to identify fall hazards and unsafe practices. Employees must also be aware of specific tasks that increase the chances of falling.
If employers and employees can work together to follow the guidelines put in place, every working environment will be much safer for everyone.
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