Falls are one of the most common causes of accidents on construction sites. The fall does not have to be very deep – you can still be seriously injured or even die in the fall. To protect both yourself and your workers, you should know the basic fall protection systems and what works best for different situations and conditions. The basic types of fall protection systems include guardrails, anti-falls, fall arrest, fall prevention and control zones.
1) Safety railing
Safety railings are one of the most common types of fall protection for roofs and is an excellent choice of fall protection system as it completely eliminates the risk of falling. This is done by placing a barrier between the workers and the edge itself. Simple, effective and cheap.
An anti-fall system prevents you from getting too close to an unprotected edge. It limits how far you can move to prevent a fall. When you get to the open edge of a floor or roof, the anti-fall system holds you back.
An anti-fall system is a combination of components designed to prevent you and employees from reaching an unattended edge. The system consists of a lanyard, a lifeline and a safety harness or belt.
3) Fall restriction
A fall arrest is a combination of a work positioning system (a bosun’s chair, a swing stage, a work positioning belt or similar) and fall arrest equipment (rope grabs, fall protectors, lanyard climbing belt).
4) Fall prevention
A fall arrest system prevents you from coming into contact with the ground after the fall. It is simply a fall arrest system that stops the fall itself.
You must use a fall protection system if you work from
- An unattended work area that is more than 3 meters above the nearest safe level.
- An unattended work area that is above any surface or object that could cause injury to you on contact.
- An unattended work area located above an open tank, pit or vessel.
- A working platform that is 3 meters above a permanent, safe level.
- Each work area where a safety representative has decided that it is required.
A fall arrest system must limit the total fall distance to a distance less than the distance from the work area to a safe level, water or an obstacle below. It should also limit the impact of the fall on a worker’s body to 8 kN. This can be achieved by using a shock absorber or by limiting the free fall distance to 1.2 meters. A fall arrest system consists of a strong lanyard and a strong anchor. The anchor for an individual fall prevention device on a roof (for one person only) must be able to withstand a force of 22 kN – approximately the weight of a medium-sized car. The line can be connected directly to the anchor or via a lifeline system.
Before an employee enters an area where there is a risk of falling, the employer and client must ensure that the employee is instructed in the area’s fall protection system, in the rescue procedure after a fall and that the employee is aware of all the procedures to be followed.
If an employee falls into their fall arrest system, the following is required:
- As the worker needs to be rescued quickly, a rescue plan must be prepared in advance.
- Fall protection equipment must be taken out of service after the fall and inspected by a competent person and repaired in accordance with the designers’ or manufacturers’ specifications before being put back into service.
5) Control zone
A control zone can be used where it is impossible to use a fall arrest system. It is not allowed on surfaces with a slope greater than 3 on 12 and on a scaffold. A warning line must be set up 2 meters from an unattended edge and employees working in the control zone must use other fall protection for roofs.
BGFIX fall protection system
While we don’t offer all types of fall protection, the fall protection we do offer is of the highest quality and can be customized to your needs. At BGFIX you can buy and rent fall protection in the form of
- Adaptable fall protection railing system
- Anti-fall post with easy-snap
- Fall arrest platform
- Stairs with fold-out fall protection
today for more information or take a look at our range of fall protection.
- Skrevet af Niels Webb