How much do you know about lifelines, guardrails and fall arrest anchors? If your workers frequently need to work on rooftops or to clean windows, you need to know how to keep them safe.
These 7 tips will help you choose the right equipment to protect your workers from a fall.
1. Study the fall protection plan of your company
If your employees have to work above 6 feet off the ground, you need to have a fall protection plan in place to ensure their safety. This plan will identify hazards, and recommend the different methods that should be used to prevent falls. If you haven’t done it already, take a look at your fall protection plan.
2. Learn more about fall arrest equipment
Although they are both designed to keep workers safe, fall arrest and fall restraint equipment don’t have the same purpose. Fall arrest equipment such as fall limiting systems, self-retracting lanyards, fall arrest anchors and safety nets will protect a worker who is falling by stopping the fall. Fall arrest equipment does not restrict the movements of workers.
3. Learn more about fall restraint equipment
On the other hand, fall restraint equipment such as guardrails or short-length lifelines is designed to prevent workers from reaching a dangerous area where there is a risk of falling. Fall restraint equipment can be effective at keeping workers safe, and doesn’t require any particular training to be used properly.
4. Fall arrest equipment requires training to be used properly
Fall arrest equipment is effective at keeping workers safe, as long as they have been trained to use the equipment properly. This training will teach them how to wear and adjust their full body harness, and how to attach their lifeline to a fall arrest anchor. Fall arrest equipment is not useful if it’s not being used the right way.
5. Fall restraint equipment can restrain the work of your workers
Fall restraint equipment is easier to use than fall arrest equipment, but it can restrain the work of your employees. Guardrails can make it difficult for them to access dangerous areas, so if they need to access these areas to perform their work, equipping them with fall arrest systems could be a better idea.
6. Consider different types of lifelines
Fall arrest systems can be used with three different types of lifelines. Horizontal lifelines are for workers who need to move horizontally across their work surface, while vertical lifelines allow them to move up and down as they work. There are also retractable lifelines that use a locking mechanism to limit falls.
7. Learn how to adjust a full body harness
A full body harness must be used to attach a worker to a lifeline, but that harness will only be effective if it’s worn and adjusted properly. Make sure your employees know how to use a harness, and that they will inspect it carefully before each use.