Over 7 million workers will go to the emergency room this year due to fall-related injuries, making falls the leading cause of worker fatalities in the construction industry. Almost every time, these accidents are preventable. With close to 100 unnecessary deaths each year, fall protection and training should be top of mind for every work from height building owner or manager. Investing in a proper fall protection system and prevention program might not seem like the most cost-effective option for your facility, but in most instances, it is a necessity per OSHA and ANSI requirements.
When a building owner or manager decides to cut costs and avoids installing a fall protection system, not only are they risking the safety of their employees, the costs incurred from a worker fall is often significantly higher than the cost of the fall protection installation. It is your responsibility to ensure your workers are performing their work in a safe and protected environment. Today, we’re looking at some of the basics to consider and the advantages of investing in an engineer fall protection system for your facility.
Types of Fall Protection Equipment
A fall protection system is made up of different compatible devices an employer or building owner provides that prevents a free fall or to safely arrest or restrain a fall. When properly installed, fall risks will be reduced. A fall protection system is necessary for workers if exposed to vertical drops of 6 feet or more. Below, we discuss some of the main types of fall protection used on construction sites that protect workers from height:
- Guardrail Systems – often your first line of defense from workplace accidents, guardrails and barriers can be installed at the edge of a worksite, roof, or wherever a fall risk may occur.
- Anchor Technology – window anchor points are vital to any roof fall protection system. They are used to connect lanyards, lifelines, and other tie-offs to prevent a worker from falling. An engineered anchor point can be installed on a roof, door, or wherever needed by the user.
- Safety Net Systems – these netting systems are designed to protect workers from height, such as a skylight by deflecting or dissipating a fall. They can also work to catch dropped items on a worksite.
- Personal Fall Arrest Systems – this system includes a full body harness, anchorage, and connector used to stop workers’ mid-fall.
- Fall Restraint Systems – a fall restraint system uses positioning devices to prevent workers from reaching a hazard and are a great alternative to a guardrail system if practical.
- Safety Monitoring Systems – this system often utilizes a person, rather than a mechanical device, to warn workers when they are approaching a hazard or unprotected area- this is for roofing work only.
Benefits of a Fall Protection System for Your Facility
When on the job, it benefits everyone when a proper fall protection system and fall prevention program are in place. These methods can help eliminate hazards and control the risks associated with working from heights. A fall prevention program can be customized to your unique facility and is specific to your workplace. It will include many aspects like site location, site-specific fall hazards, type of fall protection to use, and more. Combined with your fall protection system, fall arrest planning will reduce worker compensation claims and insurance premiums, guarantee employee safety, increase productivity, reduce OSHA fines, and best of all, boost morale. Training at maintenance facilities must be developed.
Not only do we educate facility managers and owners on proper anchor technology with structured engineering analysis, we can also offer fall protection training, engineering services, maintenance management, and so much more. Investing in a fall protection system and your worker’s safety is something that every owner and manager should consider. If you’re ready to make your job site a safer place for your employees, and contractors contact our team today.