We’ve all seen them – brave men and women working on rigs, towers and other precarious places. It’s clear that this vital work can be dangerous, but as long as the company employing these workers has a solid fall protection plan in place, the chance of worker injury is lessened greatly.
Fall protection involves the use of different components which, when working together, provide support in case the worst happens. A secured anchor, shock absorbing lanyard, full body harness – these are just some of the pieces of equipment that keep workers safe in potentially dangerous situations.
Fall Protection Equipment
When putting a comprehensive fall protection plan in place, consider the following:
Anchors are what attach an employee to the surface of the structure on which they’re working. They have to be strong enough to withstand the forces of a fall and are available in multiple variations, so as to fit any situation.
Full body harnesses are worn by workers so as to allow the forces of a fall to be distributed evenly across the body in the event of a fall, rather than focusing all of the arresting forces in one area and thus making injury more likely. As with anchors, there are a variety of full body harnesses to match any application, such as work positioning harnesses, ladder climbing harnesses and descent control harnesses.
A connector, such as a shock absorbing lanyard, links the full body harness to the anchor. It’s important to inspect these regularly, as any holes or tears could result in failure. Be sure to check stitching where components are attached as well.
Descent and rescue devices make it possible to escape quickly or perform rescue actions. They can include suspension trauma straps, descent devices and other equipment. It’s important that these rigs and equipment be regularly inspected, too, to ensure that they work in situations in which there is no time to lose.
Having the right fall protection equipment on-hand at all times is the only way to ensure the safety and efficiency of an operation. After all, employees cannot do their best work if they don’t feel confident in their safety.
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