In the United States Construction industry, falls are the leading cause of worker fatalities. An average of between 150-200 workers each year are killed and more than 100,000 injuries are the result of falls at construction sites. Accidental falls are complex events resulting from either equipment-related or human issues. Therefore, the standards for falling protection deal with preventing fall hazards, and providing proper safety equipment.
Fall protection systems should be carefully designed for appropriate work situations. Proper installation of safety systems, safe work procedures, training and supervision are necessary to ensure workers’ security. Lastly, use some common sense when working off the ground. It’s always better to have too much protection than not enough.
Listed below is a short glossary of fall prevention equipment that can be furnished for safe endeavors:
¨ Anchorage – Secure point of attachment for lanyards, lifelines or deceleration devices.
¨ Body Harness – Straps secured about the person that distribute fall-arrest forces over thighs, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders, which is attached to other parts of fall-arrest system.
¨ Deceleration Device – Any mechanism: rope, grab, forms of lanyards, auto retracting lanyards that dissipate a substantial amount of energy during fall arrest.
¨ Lanyard – Flexible line of rope or strap that has connectors to a deceleration device, lifeline, or anchorage.