It is important for all employers and their employees to be aware of the different types of fall protection equipment available for use in order to be able to select the correct equipment for the work at height task. Fall protection equipment generally falls into three categories:
However, despite huge advances in fall protection system design and availability, falls from height still remain the single largest cause of death in the construction industry alone.
In this blog, we focus in particular on the use of fall arrest systems and how to ensure safe and compliant use.
According to the Health and Safety Executive’s hierarchy of risk management, fall arrest systems should be used when the risk of a fall cannot be prevented, for example, through the use of high parapet walls or guardrails.
Fall arrest systems work by preventing a worker, who has already fallen, from reaching impact at a lower level which could cause serious harm. This is done through the use of an energy absorbing system such as a lanyard and safety harness. In the event of a fall, the system essentially ‘arrests’ the descent allowing the user to either carry out a self-rescue or be in a position where they can be rescued.
There are several pieces of legislation relating to the use and maintenance of fall arrest equipment. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 maintains that it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure fall arrest equipment is in good repair and is replaced when necessary. In line with BS EN 365:2004, fall arrest equipment should be examined annually, although more frequently is recommended.
It’s also worth noting the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which also maintains that equipment used in dangerous situations is inspected at regular intervals.
Here at Heightsafe, we offer a range of fall arrest equipment that ranges from lanyards to fall arrest blocks. All of our equipment is tested, inspected and certified to the appropriate standards and compliance requirements. Alongside this, we regularly carry out PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kit testing and maintenance checks for many of our clients, alongside managing their fall arrest assets. This way employers can be sure their employees are safe when working at height and that they are operating in line with legislation.
If you would like some more information about our fall arrest equipment, or our testing and inspection services, please get in touch on 020 3819 7199, or contact us online.