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The Differences in Fall Protection

Some of you may not know this, but there actually three different levels and degrees of fall protection. And OSHA likes them in a particular order. So we thought we'd highlight these areas of fall protection in the order OSHA wants you to go about eliminating fall hazards from your job site.

Fall Prevention
- Prevent your men from reaching the hazard by establishing a barrier between your guys and the potential fall hazard. This is most commonly represented by the use of guardrails.

Pros:
- Least risk for a fall to occur
- No training necessary
- No equipment per worker
- Anual maintenance and inspection
- No lost time.

Cons:
- Higher up front costs

Fall Restraint
- A fall restraint system uses a tie off system to prevent your workers from reaching the fall hazard. Think of a dog on a leash. Or you could think of harness and lanyard at a set length away from the hazard.

Pros:
- Better than fall arrest
- Lower up front costs.

Cons:
- Thorough training required.
- Equipment needed for each individual worker.
- Inspection and maintenance before each use.
- Equipment must properly fit each worker, adding extra cost.
- Requires setup time
- Potential risk to the user.

Fall Arrest
- Fall arrest systems stop or arrest a fall that is occurring which keeps your workers from going splat. These systems require an anchor point,a harness, and a shock absorber of some sort.

Pros:
- Lower up front costs, initially.

Cons:
- Highest risk of potential injury to the worker.
- Thorough training required.
- Equipment is required for each individual worker.
- Inspection and maintenance before each use.
- Equipment must properly fit each worker, adding extra cost.
- Requires setup time.

So there you have it. The basic differences between your options. Sometimes, there is only one option available, but if you do have a choice make sure you work your way down the list and not up the list. A guardrail is always your safest bet.

If you have any questions, as always let us know.

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