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Protect your Workers when Operating at Height

23rd October 2018

Most operatives and site personnel understand the dangers and safety risks to working at height, but do they know the right steps to consider when selecting the correct fall protection and prevention equipment?

Indeed, working at height maybe the most effective way to carry out certain tasks but, as with many working areas in the industry, it is not without its risk of injury if correct safety precautions have not been communicated to the workforce.

Whilst it seems obvious that extensive training must be carried out before any work at height commences, correctly selecting the appropriate system for the task is crucial. There are 2 main systems that are industry recommended when working at height.

Work Restraint Systems (fall prevention) allow the worker to conduct their task whilst preventing them from reaching a leading edge or the point where a fall could occur. These solutions are suitable for work that needs to be carried out on the precipice of a hazard and will usually be a fixed-length lanyard and body harness / belt.

Fall Arrest Systems (fall protection) are needed when the worker can reach the leading edge allowing maximum freedom of movement. In the event of a fall, these systems prevent the worker from impacting a lower level by absorbing the kinetic energy that is generated by falling.

Harnesses (which must be a full body harness and used in conjunction with a lanyard) are available in 1, 2, 3 and 5-point systems wherein a 3-point harness would usually be selected for the more technically challenging tasks, such as positing and work restraint, with a 5-point harness generally being used for abseiling. Fall arrest and work restraint lanyards should be used in conjunction with a harness.

It is also essential that the fitting of a harness is suited to the user (of which some are gender specific) according to their size and weight in order to maximise the effectiveness of the system and the safety of the worker as well as ensuring that all attachments and anchor points are correctly positioned for the intended application; all safety harness training should cover this. 

For more information on selecting the right working at height equipment or to book your safety harness training today, call us on 01246 386900.

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