The Health and Safety Executive (“ HSE “) state, that before work at height is undertaken by any individual, a ‘hierarchy of risk control’ must be addressed in order to select the most appropriate safety equipment for the task. Work at height must be avoided if and when possible, but in cases where work at height is unavoidable, appropriate measures must be taken in order to prevent falls by minimising the distance and consequences if one were to occur.
With the widespread availability of safety equipment and the introduction of tougher legislation, it is worrying that falls from height still account for nearly a third of all fatalities involving the workplace. Often seen as a practical option for low-risk tasks, ladder safety often doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. In 2013, falls from height involving the use of ladders reportedly accounted for 14 deaths and 1,200 major injuries to employees working at height. In fact, an international engineering company has recently been fined following the death of a worker, who fell thirty feet as a result of climbing an electricity pylon using a ladder fitted with no form of height safety equipment.
Through the use of fall arrest and restraint safety equipment such as fall arrest tracks, the number of fatal injuries from falls from height whilst using ladders can be significantly reduced.
Fall arrest tracks are a discreet safety option which provide an enclosed track vertical fall arrest system when using ladders. Essentially, they ‘lock off’ in the event of a fall, preventing the user from potentially fatal injuries.
A research report provided by the HSE found that the hoops (also referred to as cages) on traditional hooped ladders provide no positive fall arrest capability. By using a fall arrest track system on an existing hooped ladder, users can ensure they are minimising the consequences if a fall were to occur.
Fall arrest tracks can be fitted to existing ladders but also provide a cost effective option instead of traditional hooped ladders. These systems allow users to travel in a vertical direction, whilst enabling them to move into an adjoining horizontal profile without having to disconnect from the safety system provided by the fall arrest track. This also allows for hands-free work.
Like all fall protection and height safety equipment, fall arrest tracks must be compliant and in the correct condition for use. Here at Heightsafe Systems, our fall arrest tracks are manufactured and tested in accordance with BS EN353-1 and have been developed to provide the ultimate enclosed track vertical fall arrest systems on the market.
Our fall arrest track ladder systems are typically used to provide access to telecommunications structures, electricity pylons, railway signals, towers and silos to roof access systems. They operate with a unique asymmetrical track profile coupled with a retaining carriage to ensure correct orientation during insertion without the need for additional bolt-on guides.
If you’d like to find out more about our fall arrest tracks, talk to our work at height team today: 020 3819 7199.