Every contractor’s first concern should be the safety of his men, so it is imperative for them to know exactly what kind of fall protection they will need, before getting started on the project. There might, and often will be the need to add more fall protection as the construction goes through its various stages.
Since we will detail the primary fall protection gear used in construction to protect the crew, readers should have a clear idea regarding what to buy/rent and when depending on the possible dangers through each stage of the construction project.
Categorizing: The Primary 3
As of 2020, there are a lot of variations and modifications in fall protection technology. These advanced, superior construction safety harnesses also come with numerous universal and a few unique benefits to them as well. Nevertheless, they can all be divided into the primary three functional categories:
1.Fall Arrest Systems
Taking a brief look over these three should make it clear regarding exactly what the contractor should be looking for while choosing fall protection gear for their men.
Fall Arrest Systems
No other type of fall protection equipment holds more importance in construction than fall arrest systems. As the name suggests, the PPE is designed to protect workers from falling, while they are working at an elevated height. The fall arrest systems can be broken down into three primary parts, which are the lanyard, the anchorage, and the full body harness.
A positioning system allows the worker to sit and comfortably use their hands to do the work that they need to do, at an elevated height. They are used in high rise constructions quite frequently to provide more productivity and safety to the workers. However, the belts on these positioning systems alone are not sufficient for providing fall protection. They must at all times be supported by an adequate harness for breaking accidental falls.
Suspension systems are not only used by dedicated construction crews but also window cleaners, house painters and renovation workers. The idea is similar to the aforementioned positioning systems, but they are cheaper alternatives, where there are no seating arrangements. Also, the protection is entirely dependent on the harnessing and anchorage of the suspension system used.
OSHA requires the construction project to have a pre-decided, approved and compliant Emergency Action plan (EAP) in place so that it can be enacted in case of emergency rescue operations. Although there is no definition regarding what kind of equipment should be used to rescue or retrieve a fallen and injured worker, it is defined as a functional requirement for construction safety by the OSHA all the same. As a result, some decisions need to be made on the spot, taken in light of the exact emergency situation.
There are various other types of PPE such as hard hats, vibration resistant gloves, protective goggles, etc. The need to buy/rent such protective gear is also essential. Therefore, try to remember that the general idea in selecting PPE should always be centered around the project’s general safety plans, along with dynamic additions, as and when the potential dangers pertaining to specific scenarios begin to pop up.