Five Traps That Defeat Fall Protection

by on January 6, 2011 · 4 Comments POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
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Fall protection sounds easy – clip onto the system, and you’re safe. But you know nothing’s easy. Here are some traps to remind workers to steer clear of:

1. Make sure the D-ring on safety harnesses is centered between the shoulder blades. Workers may need to check each other. Have workers check before each shift, as well as before and after breaks and lunch, to make sure harnesses are still correctly worn.

2. Remember people will make anchors out of anything. Don’t tie directly to an electrical conduit, sprinkler line or other unstable anchor. Anchor points need to hold 5,000 pounds of pressure. Rule of thumb: If it can hold a car, it can hold a person.

3. Don’t wrap a safety line back around itself or around anything that’s sharp. Your best bet is to make sure safety lines can fall free to avoid cutting during a fall. Note: Workers can wrap safety lines around a beam as long as they reconnect to the D-ring – some workers reconnect to webbing, which can tear during a fall.

4. If you have female workers, ask your safety director for special harnesses. Some harnesses have moving chest straps – which allow women to move the chest strap to a more comfortable and safe position.

5. Make sure snap hooks and D-rings close properly. These devices wear out and should be regularly inspected. Note: Non-locking snap hooks are not allowed by OSHA.

Based on discussions by safety director Steven Fess of Xerox Corporation and fall-protection consultant Reggie Suga at the American Industrial Hygiene Association conference.

photo credit: craigCloutier

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4 Comments on This Post

  1. Rick
    January 11, 2011 - 4:29 pm

    Nice post to share in a safety huddle or during a one on one with my maintenance team prior to getting into winter maintenance when our folks tend to be wearing fall protection more frequently. More and more manufacturers are beginning to introduce new products into industry and the concern of personnel fit has been a highlight for both men / women. I know for my guys/gals having to wear harnesses all day can be a pain but wearing one not properly fitted can even become more of a pain or even issue in the event of a fall so understanding how they should be worn is very important!

  2. Rick
    January 11, 2011 - 4:29 pm

    Nice post to share in a safety huddle or during a one on one with my maintenance team prior to getting into winter maintenance when our folks tend to be wearing fall protection more frequently. More and more manufacturers are beginning to introduce new products into industry and the concern of personnel fit has been a highlight for both men / women. I know for my guys/gals having to wear harnesses all day can be a pain but wearing one not properly fitted can even become more of a pain or even issue in the event of a fall so understanding how they should be worn is very important!

  3. August 4, 2011 - 9:38 am

    How to get workers to talk about safety hazards

  4. August 4, 2011 - 9:38 am

    How to get workers to talk about safety hazards

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