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The Differences in Fall Protection

Posted by Doug Kotecki on

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 - The 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: - The 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.

  • Tags: Advice, Archives 2010, OSHA

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