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Contractor Tips of the Month, News

It’s a Matter of Safety: Choosing the Right Fall Protection System

Safeguarding your workers begins with choosing the right fall protection system. The decision, though, is one that requires careful consideration and thorough assessment for each application.

What Should You Consider?
Before you even look at systems, ask yourself which areas of your facility or jobsite require fall protection. In addition, consider the number of workers who will need to use the fall protection system.

For instance, is your jobsite or facility set up in a way that workers will need to pass one another while attached? If so, you need to account for this when choosing a system. Support is another consideration. What is your plan for supporting the system? And, what type of lanyards and harnesses will you need to have on hand.

The logistics also play a part in choosing a system. Think about where workers will initially connect to the fall protection system and pinpoint a location for a tagline to hang down that doesn’t collide with other equipment.

Your rescue plan also needs to be a top priority when choosing a fall protection system. What plans do you have in place? And, how will you coordinate rescue plans with a particular fall protection system?

Weighing the Options
When it comes to fall protection systems, you first must decide if you need a permanent or mobile system. Knowing the difference can help you make an informed decision.

  • Permanent Fall Protection Systems: These systems provide a constant fall arrest solution and can be mounted to walls, the ground or ceilings. A permanent system is also ideal for environments where your workers are at heights on a regular or permanent basis. With permanent systems, you must also consider any types of obstructions at your facility or jobsite that could prevent mounting.
  • Mobile Fall Protection Systems: If your workspace is constantly changing, a mobile fall protection system may be the best choice for your workers. Mobile systems are also ideal for when you are using heavy-duty pickup trucks or forklifts. With a mobile system, you won’t need a foundation for mounting. It’s also a convenient choice that allows you not to have to sacrifice reliability of a rigid track. You will, however, need space for wheeled uprights.

Evaluating Your Coverage Area and Worker Rating
When considering the locations where your employees work and need fall protection, make a detailed list to ensure you choose a system that works well with the spaces. Begin by calculating the height, width and length of specific areas. These calculations will help you determine the hook distance and coverage area.

Next, evaluate your worker capacity. It’s imperative to determine your worker rating so that you’re choosing the best fall protection system that allows the number of workers you have to attach safely.

Take the following steps to calculate your worker rating:

  • Decide just how many of your employees will need to attach at the same time
  • Assess the threshold for injury, which is typically 900 pounds of maximum arresting force
  • Ensure that you are not exceeding the maximum working load capacity of 310 lbs. as stipulated by OSHA and ANSI, which includes workers and tools combined

Choosing the right fall protection system involves a variety of considerations that involve not only coverage area and worker capacity, but also the types of fall protection available.

 

You have options when it comes to choosing the right fall protection system for your jobsite or facility. In fact, it can be a bit overwhelming when making a final decision. That’s why Malta Dynamics offers you not only high-quality fall protection equipment and systems, but also trained specialists who can help you every step of the way. Contact us today to see how our high-quality systems offer you just what you need.