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When Guardrails Fail

The humble guardrail saves the lives of hundreds of British workers every year, if not thousands or even tens of thousands. Proper guardrail systems mean that a slip on a high walkway is just a slip, not a life-threatening accident and a complete disaster for the firm. They provide the necessary protection for ordinary people going about their business as well, and most of us probably use at least three or four every day without even thinking about it. The banister rail on your stairs is, really, nothing but a guardrail.

Because they are so pervasive, it’s very easy to assume guardrail systems are completely safe. Workers often rely on them without a second thought. All but the most experienced workers at height will feel their way carefully onto a safety line or a rope system, but they’ll take the security of guardrail fall protection for granted. Nobody expects their banister to fail suddenly.

Unfortunately, not all guardrails are created equal. Late last year a worker suffered an extremely serious fall at Everton FC’s new training ground. There was a guardrail in place and it should have prevented any fall from occurring, but it failed.

The company responsible for the worker’s safety was fined a whopping £200,000, sending out a very clear message – it’s not enough to have safety measures in place. Those systems must be fit for purpose, properly installed, and strong enough to do the job. We specialise in guardrail safety. Each one we install is strong, safe, and fully worth of the trust workers will place in it.

1st February 2011 11:13 am

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