Fall protection equipment refers to systems or devices that are used to protect workers from the dangers of falling while they are performing their duties.
This equipment also helps mitigate the effects of a fall, preventing injuries.
👷 Statistics show that falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. They account for 36.4% of all fatalities. In 2020, the construction industry accounted for 46.1% of all fatal falls, trips, and slips.
Based on these facts, it is clear that employers must provide all employees with adequate personal fall protection systems.
OSHA guidelines stipulate that when workers are working at a height of 6 feet or more above a vertical distance, they require fall protection equipment.
Aside from protecting workers from falling from heights, fall protection equipment protects workers against:
The law requires employers to check the strength and structural integrity of all walking and working surfaces to determine if they’re safe for workers to use.
You have to mark and barricade any area that poses a potential risk of falling and provide effective protection to employees who work in these areas. Additionally, you must ensure that all employee fall protection equipment meets the OSHA fall protection method criteria.
Avoid adopting a one-size-fits-all approach when choosing fall protection equipment.
Make sure that you choose personal protective equipment that is suitable for each job. It should also meet local, state, and federal performance requirements.
There are many types of fall protection equipment, including the following:
This protection form creates a barrier between the worker and the hazard. Examples of fall prevention equipment include:
These are personal fall protection systems that make it impossible for the worker to reach a hazard. They include:
Fall arrest systems prevent impact, injury, or death in case of a fall and include:
Shock-absorbing lanyards absorb the shock from a fall and prevent ground impact. Lanyards should be the right length to ensure that a worker can reach their work area without extending too far.
What are the latest statistics about fall protection equipment? Here are some of the most important facts and figures:
Technological advancements are vital in reducing and eliminating the risks of falls from height. Here are some of the most recent improvements and innovations in personal fall protection equipment:
These provide enhanced comfort for workers, as well as improved shock-absorbing capabilities during a fall.
Many manufacturers have also started making harnesses out of lightweight materials, such as nylon and Kevlar, for improved maneuverability.
Training apps are designed to help workers understand how to use equipment such as a vertical lifeline, horizontal lifeline, body belt, and other personal fall protection systems and when they should be deployed.
Some apps provide a gamified experience to help train workers on safety procedures. Others use augmented reality to simulate hazardous conditions. This helps to educate workers on how to respond with arrest protection equipment.
Safety platforms such as SkillSignal are a centralized, comprehensive source of fall prevention tools and resources. This unique all-in-one mobile platform creates a collaborative network and keeps everyone on-site connected to your safety goals.
With this app, you can easily assess the safety and compliance of personal fall arrest systems as well as implement risk control.
Wearable safety devices that warn workers of impending falls, such as the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5, are also on the rise.
These devices measure the worker’s motions. They alert them if they are at risk of falling or if they are not wearing their arrest protection equipment correctly.
Vertical lifelines and horizontal lifelines are vital in ensuring the safety of workers. The latest retractable lifelines are equipped with integrated energy absorbers. These shock-absorbing lanyards help reduce fall arrest forces to safe levels and minimize injury risk.
Personal fall protection equipment is essential for any worker who works at height and puts their safety at risk. Investing in the latest advances in fall protection technology will not only reduce the risk of falls but also save you injury- and illness-related costs.
Ensure that all employees are properly trained in using personal fall protection systems. In addition, always adhere to the latest safety standards for maximum protection.
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