How to Ensure Proper Usage of Fall Protection Systems

 

Fall protection covers, but is not restricted to, wire rope rails, solid rails and even travel restraints (harnesses with lanyards that stop you from reaching the edge from where you might fall). Fall arrest is what workers usually mean when they say "tied-off - you have a harness, a lanyard, and an anchor point.

 

Proper Harness Usage

 

The first thing that has to be done when using a harness is examining it. Scan each strap, buckle, plastic fitting and grommet for signs of wear and tear. Also find out when the harness was last inspected professionally (the tag should have this piece of information). If you feel absolutely sure that the harness is good for use, then put it on and adjust as necessary (not so loose, not so tight). Make sure all the ends of your straps are well tucked into their fasteners - anything that hangs around might loosen entirely or get caught in something.

 

Proper Lanyard Usage

 

When deciding on a lanyard you have to ask one basic question: what is the distance between my anchor point and the lower level? Now check whether it has been attached properly. If you're using a lanyard with a deceleration device, be sure that device is solidly attached to your D-ring so that proper deployment is assured. For retractables, the casing must be attached to the anchor point. A lanyard that looks like a bungee cord will be worn either way. Be sure to check it out

 

Proper Anchor Point

 

According to the OSHA, anchorages used in personal fall arrest equipment should be able to support at least 5,000 pounds per attached person. Except in cases where you have structural steel or an engineered anchor point (as an aerial lift, for example), you must be aware that the anchor point will hold. Of course, this should be done by no less than a registered professional engineer. Besides, safety is an all-or-nothing proposition. And if you want to be safe all the way, you should only trust certified experts.  Get more info here!

 

Proper Fall Clearance

 

Moreover, your anchor point should limit your free-fall distance to 6 feet or lower. Say you're tied up around the feet, and your lanyard is 6 feet long and has a deceleration device. You have to freefall beyond 10 feet before that deceleration device works (6 feet for the lanyard and 4 feet from your feet to the D-ring). Such forces can be extremely dangerous for your body's internal organs. That's why the anchor point must always at least with the D-ring. If this isn't possible, other alternatives have to be considered, such as retractable lanyards, railings, and more. For more facts about safety, visit this website at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupational_safety_and_health.

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