Fall protection - what you should know
On the average, one fall accident occurs every minute in Europe. So pay attention when working at a height or depth, for example on a roof, scaffold or well and use fall protection equipment.
Why use fall protection equipment?
Fall protection equipment is classified as "category III – PPE equipment against fatal or serious and irreparable danger". The purposes of fall protection equipment are:
- Stop falling
- Prevent falls
- Lowering or lifting people – (for example, in silos or wells)
You should use fall protection equipment if you cannot otherwise plan and carry out your work properly with collective security, such as railings, scaffolding or passenger hoists.
Fall protection consists of three parts (Fall Protection ABC)
A fall protection system consists of an anchorage, the body and a connection device. Your fall protection system will not work if one of the parts is missing.
- Connection device
ABC (Anchorage, Body, Connection) is an easy way to remember the parts.
fall protection anchorage
The anchorage is a connection point for the connection device. It must be a secure fastening and be able to withstand at least a drag of 1,200 kg. (12 kN). Existing anchorages can be found in an I-beam, building scaffolding or other fixed/structural point. Permanent anchorages may be anchor eyes, horizontal wire systems, horizontal rail systems etc.
Temporary anchorages may be - for example - an anchoring loop of woven belting/wire.
As far as possilbe the anchorage must be positioned vertically above the user and one should not move away from the anchorage at an angle greater than 30 degrees due to the high risk of pendulum swinging, which can cause great damage.
Fall Protection Body/Harness
The body is used to hold and safely catch the user before, during and after a fall. There are many versions of bodies and it is important that the body is properly adjusted to the wearer.
The fall protection connection device
Connection devices are used between the body and the anchorage, and are available in different variations:
- Fall arrester line – max. 2 meters with fall arrester
- Fall protection block – with self-retracting line and integrated fall arrester.
- Fall stop line: A fall protection system that allows users to work in a hazardous area and catch them should they fall (with fall arrester).
- Guideline: A system that provides support to the user and at the same time prevents the user from reaching a hazardous area (not a fall arrester).