GME Supply Safety Stand-Down Week 2023: Now I Know My ABCDs
The ABCDs of Fall Protection
The Maximum Degree of Fall Protection
Anchorage, body support, connectors, and decent & rescue - each are important on their own, but when used properly together, they provide the maximum degree of safety for a worker at height. But don’t forget, a rescue plan is an equally important factor when it comes to fall protection. The proper gear for descent and rescue should always be a part of a complete fall protection plan, too
Let’s break down the ABCDs of fall protection.
A is for Anchorage
Anchors provide secure attachment points for workers. There are many ways to properly anchor depending on the industry, job, and structure. If you’re on a tower, an anchorage point could be a tie-off sling, or perhaps an I-Beam anchor could be used in a horizontal system. Look for anchorage points rated for at least 5,000 pounds or even an engineered solution designed for your specific application.
B is for Body Support
Now we’re talking harnesses. There’s no safe and natural way to attach one’s body to a structure. Luckily, harnesses are designed to distribute the forces that occur in a fall to limit injuries, or worse, death. There are many varieties of harnesses available for different industries and jobs.
C is for Connectors
Once you’ve chosen a comfortable harness and your anchor point is secure, you just need one last thing before you’re ready to climb. Here’s where a shock absorbing lanyard or SRL comes in. Twin-leg lanyards provide 100% tie-off. SRL’s can limit your fall distance to a few inches. Again, there are a variety of connectors to choose from, made by many different manufacturers.
D is for Descent and DON’T Forget Rescue
What’s your plan? Every job site needs to have proper rescue equipment and a proper rescue plan in place before anyone starts working. From rope access to confined space, there is specific gear needed to get to a fallen worker and get them to safety. A haul system helps raise them up, and a descent device will lower them down. Or maybe you could add trauma straps to your harness, so if you’re the one dangling you can relieve some of the pressure that gravity is placing on your parts.
ABCs of Fall Protection - The Video
Questions or Need More Info?
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