Workplace Fall Protection
Workers falling from heights top the list of workplace injuries and accidents regularly. Having the proper fall protection systems installed is essential to ensuring the safety of employees. However, a fall protection system is only useful when employees correctly and actively utilize the system. This requires that employees comply with standards set out in the fall protection plan carefully.
Employers need to create a fall protection plan that meets specific safety application requirements. To do so, employers must pinpoint safety goals, identify, and choose the right fall protection system while maintaining the system appropriately and operational. A fall protection hierarchy with fall protection systems exists that includes the installation of the following safety equipment.
Safety Guardrails: Install an industrial guardrail in situations where it is not possible to eliminate fall hazards. Guardrails can be either permanent or temporary.
Fall Restraints: After installing industrial guardrails to eliminate fall hazards, consider installing safety guardrails. Fall restraints prevent accidental falling by restricting workers movement or working positions. In limiting worker movement, an employee is attached to a fixed line that prevents moving too close to an edge or opening.
Fall Arrest: where fall restraints are not viable, the next level of protection is to use fall arrests. Fall arrests include harnesses, lifelines, or anchors that protect workers from hitting the surface if they fall.
Incorporating Safety Measures in the Workplace
With the creation of the proper safety plan, employees must be trained to employ the identified fall protection system. Training provided equips workers with knowledge of how to recognize and respond to potential fall hazards, handson skills on anchoring procedures, proper tool identification for specific tasks, learn how to inspect and maintain fall protection systems, and proper donning of protective gear.
Fall protection systems need regular inspection and supervision to avoid disastrous outcomes. Failure to implement and install a fall protection plan may result in loss of workers confidence, injuries, and fatalities. Accordingly, fall elimination is the best protection. Various ways to eliminate falls include:
? Use of tool extensions if working from the ground
? Installation of permanent guardrails before project commencement
? Installing anchorages, safety guard rails, and roof fall protection
To enhance the safety of workers further, employers can employ warning lines, control zones, designated areas, and limit employee exposure to risks. In conducting hazard assessments, paying particular attention to workplace design helps tremendously in reducing instances of falls. Workers should give particular attention to attachment points when using personal fall protection systems.