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    Fall Protection

    Fall Protection or personal fall arrest system is required by the OSHA for construction site workers who are exposed to the dangers of vertical drops of 6 feet or more. Falls are the top cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for about one-third of the total construction-related accidents. A fall arrest system helps protect workers and save lives by stopping a fall that is already happening.

    Personal Fall Protection Systems (PFPS) has three components. These essential components work together to keep construction workers safe. These products comprise the ABCs of the PFPS chain: anchor, body support, and connector. It is important to carefully understand each component to prevent an incompatible connection.

     

    ABCs of Fall Protection

     

    Anchorage

    Anchorage or anchor point serves as the attachment point for both vertical and horizontal fall arrest systems. In case of a fall, the worker’s life depends on the strength of the anchorage. An anchor point must be readily accessible, at a safe distance from lower obstacles, and has a strength of at least 5,000 lbs.

    Body Support

    A full-body harness is the only acceptable body support for fall arrest. It brings safety and security while allowing workers the flexibility to move on the job site. An excellent body harness distributes the force throughout the body to minimize the impact of the fall. The maximum worker weight capacity of harnesses is 310 lbs., but some brands such as Guardian Fall Protection carry harnesses with a higher working weight (i.e. 420 lbs.). Some of the things to look out for in purchasing a full-body harness include hardware, fabric, stitching, and label.

    Connector

    A connector joins the full-body harness to the anchorage. These connecting devices include standard lanyards, shock-absorbing lanyards, self-retracting lifelines (SRLs), and rope grabs. They come in different materials, styles, and lengths. In looking for connectors, consider the potential fall distance, system component compatibility, and environmental conditions.

     

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