Tips on Using Fall Arrest Systems
Working at heights comes with its risks. If care is not taken, it might add liability to construction companies and managers in terms of compensation and hospital bills. Extensive and permanent injuries can also make the worker never to resume, meaning the company will continue to bear liability for a long period.
It is not enough to buy and install a fall arrest system: fall arrest systems work well only when being used appropriately. First, identifying the right type of an arrest system should be the goal of every construction manager, estate owner and worker. OSHA regulations stipulate that you must wear a personal fall arrest system and safety harness when working at more than six feet above the ground.
Below are some tips for ensuring your employees and workers are safe.
1. In addition to using the appropriate fall arrest system and mezzanine safety gate and training users on the same, all systems must be inspected regularly. You should check that all the grommets, straps and buckles for wear are working correctly.
2. Ensure the harness is worn correctly and that the straps are adjusted to fit tightly: Make sure the D-ring is centered in the back at shoulder blade height and ensure that the straps are not twisted. The chest strap should be tight enough and secure the user to harness in case a fall occurs.
3. Adjust the leg straps of the fall arrest system: Ensure they suit your body because loose ones can cause injury in case they fall. However, ensure they are not too tight such that they prevent circulation, especially in the colder winter months.
4. Lanyard should be in good order: The ‘shock pack' is meant to absorb shock in case of a fall. The lanyard should be matched to the employee. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to comply to OSHA regulations.
5. Rope inspection: The ropes must be checked for fraying. They should be made from man-made fibers. Regulate the length of the rope using a rope-catch to ensure the worker will be safe in case a fall happens.
6. Don't rely on body belts alone: These are not sufficient. Use full-body harnesses.
7. Level the anchor point with your D-ring: Ensure the D-ring is rigid such that it cannot deflect for not more than 0.4 inches when under a force of 2,250 is placed on the anchor point.
It is important to consult your manufacturer when working with fall arrest system and mezzanine safety gate in order to meet the OSHA guidelines. Manufacturers also provide the safety working regulations and recommendations for each.