Empower your frontline workers to practice the basics of fall protection and build a total safety culture from the ground up.
Published 28 Apr 2022
Fall protection safety should be a top priority when working on tasks that require harnesses. Performing regular worksite and safety harness inspections can help prevent fatal falls and accidents. Site safety inspections should ensure permits, installation, training, and overall equipment are in place. Harnesses and lanyards should always be inspected before use to determine if the equipment is in a safe condition.
Employers must ensure that the following personal fall protection system is used to comply with OSHA’s standard 1910.140:
A fall arrest system should be used when working at an elevated level and when exposed to a fall hazard. This fall protection equipment gives personnel freedom of movement. It allows them to reach a point where a fall can occur where it safely stops a person from hitting the ground.
A work positioning system holds a worker in place, allowing them to work hands-free at elevated vertical surfaces such as walls or window sill.
A restraint allows workers to reach the work surface safely thus avoiding reaching a location from which a fall hazard exists.
Suspension systems are designed to lower and support a worker to move vertically allowing a hands-free work environment. This is commonly used in the industry when doing paint work and window washing.
A retrieval system or rescue system is used primarily for when working in confined spaces. It is designed to support a worker when entering tanks, manholes, etc. Should an emergency occur, it is used to retrieve the worker from above.
A ladder safety system should be in place to eliminate or reduce the possibility of falling off when climbing or descending from a ladder.
For permanent fixed ladders:
For temporary, portable ladders:
This is used when assisting a rescue via raising or lowering the rescue subject onto a safe working level. This is slightly different from a harness that can be used for ascent or descent because it is meant for very brief periods of use.
Inspect the following for fall protection.
Always check to ensure product labeling and tagging is legible and attached to the lanyard
Webbing should be free from cuts, broken fibers, and other damage. Visually check for damage across the entire length of the equipment
D-rings, buckles, rivets, and grommets should be free from cracks and deformities. Visually and physically check for sharp edges and distortions.
Snap Hooks should have no hook and eye distortions. Check for evidence of corrosion or other damage.
Lanyards should be able to carry standard bodyweight. Inspect rope lanyards for broken strands. Discard lanyards with broken strands.
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Learn how to get started with iAuditor through our collection of 2-minute tutorials or check out this getting started guide.
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Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.
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