Why is Fall Protection Important? - Precast Concrete

Why is Fall Protection Important? - Precast Concrete

FALL PROTECTION Why is Fall Protection Important? Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related deaths and injuries. Fall protection, or lack of, was the most cited violation by Federal OSHA in fiscal year of 2017.

Why is Fall Protection Required? OSHA that requires fall protection be provided at elevations of 4 ft. for general industries, and 6 ft. in construction industries. It is also required when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of fall distance. What Can Be Done to

Reduce Falls? Guard every floor hole, where a worker could accidentally step in. (use railing, toe boards, floor covers, etc.) Provide guard rails and toe boards around every elevated open-sided platform, floor or runway. What Can Be Done to Reduce Falls? Regardless of height, if a worker could fall

into dangerous machine equipment, (such as large vessel with harsh chemicals, or onto a conveyor belt) employers must provide guard rails with toe guards to prevent such a fall. In some cases, other means of fall protection may be required; such as harness, safety line, safety nets, hand rails, etc. Examples of Fall Protection Body Harness

Straps that will distribute the fall arrest forces over at least the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders, with means for attaching it to other components of a person fall arrest system. A body harness is part of a PFAS (personal fall arrest system). Examples of Fall Protection

Guardrail System A barrier erected to prevent employees from falling to lower levels. Guardrail systems and their use shall comply with the following provisions: Top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, shall be 42 inches (1.1 m) plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm) above the walking/working level. The mid-rail is typically at 21 inches above the walking/working surface. A 4-inch toe board may also be required to keep tools from falling.

Examples of Fall Protection Floor Cover OSHA defines a hole as a gap or void 2 or more inches in its least dimension in a floor, roof, or other walking / working surface. Covers are required to protect employees from tripping in, stepping into, or

through holes, including skylights. Examples of Fall Protection Safety Nets Safety nets are nets designed to hang below high level work areas.

Personal Fall Arrest System According to OSHA, a personal fall arrest system means a system used to capture an employee in a fall from a walking-working surface. It consists of body harness, anchorage and connector. The connection may be with a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline or suitable combination of these.

What Does OSHA Require of Employers in Regards to Fall Protection? Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, dry condition. Select and provide required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at no cost to workers. Train workers about job hazards in a language that they understand.

Types of Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) Those that are connected to a single anchorage point Cable-based horizontal systems Rigid Horizontal Systems PFAS Must Achieve the Following: Limit maximum arresting for on an employee

to 1,800 lbs when used with body harness Be rigged in a manner that limits the employees free fall to no more than 6 ft. (nor contact any lower level) Bring the employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance and employee travels to 3.5 ft. Anchorage A secure point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration devices

Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000 lbs per employee attached. Cable-Based Horizontal vs. Rigid Horizontal While both achieve the same objective there are several advantages to the rigid systems

Less fall clearance distance required (wire rope systems requires additional fall clearance due to the initial sag of the wire. The dynamic sag, or stretch of the rope during the fall also add to this distance. A rigid system stops the fall sooner by eliminating any sag) Cable-Based Horizontal vs. Rigid Horizontal While both achieve the same objective there

are several advantages to the rigid systems Reduced risk of swing fall injuries Longer distances between supports After a fall, the worker can continue use the a rigid system after a visual inspection. A wire rope system can be replaced and recertified by a qualified engineer. Other Components of a PFAS Connectors (per OSHA 1915.159)

Connectors shall be made of drop forged, pressed, or formed steel or shall be made of materials with equivalent strength. Connectors shall have a corrosionresistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to the interfacing parts of the system. Other Components of a PFAS

A lanyard is a flexible rope, wire rope, or strap which generally has a connector at each end for connecting the body harness to a deceleration device, lifeline, or anchorage point. Never use body belts to arrest a fall. Other Components of a PFAS A deceleration device is a mechanism (such as tearing or

deforming lanyards) that serves to dissipate energy during a fall to limit the energy and stress imposed on a worker during a fall. (see types below) Self-retracting lanyards: A self-retracting lanyard/lifeline contains a drum-wound line which can be slowly extracted or retracted. The lanyard extends as necessary to allow the worker to move about the work area, but retracts as necessary to maintain slight tension, preventing the line from becoming slack. Other Components

of a PFAS A deceleration device is a mechanism (such as tearing or deforming lanyards) that serves to dissipate energy during a fall to limit the energy and stress imposed on a worker during a fall. (see types below) Rip-stitch lanyards: A rip-stitch lanyard has extra webbing incorporated into the lanyard. The extra webbing is stitched into place and folded lengthwise along the lanyard. During a fall, the weaker stitching allows the folded webbing to pull away at a controlled speed, slowing the fall. Shock-absorbing lanyards: The webbing in a shockabsorbing lanyard is designed to stretch as it receives the

worker's falling weight. The stretching action breaks the fall in a controlled manner Summary Fall protection must be provided at elevations of 4 ft and above or if work is taking place over dangerous equipment regardless of distance. Guard every floor hole a worker could accidentally step into. Provide guardrails around every elevated open-sided platform or floor. Train workers on how to recognize and minimize hazards in

a language they can understand.

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