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Understanding Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint Standards and Why They Should Be Implemented

The ANSI/ASSP Z359 fall protection and fall restraint standards cover fall protection equipment and systems for climbing, rescue, work positioning and other fall hazards. Also, these standards affect training, and proper identification and abatement of hazards to protect people working at height.

Why Fall Protection and Fall Restraint Standards Must Be Used

Organizations and businesses can rely on the standards in the Z359 Fall Protection Code for addressing a long list of fall protection and fall restraint requirements that must be followed in the workplace. With this code, safety professionals can understand these requirements more clearly, allowing them to develop an all-inclusive managed fall protection program together with active fall protection systems.

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Fall Arrest Mechanism

Fall arrest is a type of fall protection whose goal is to safely stop a person’s fall. Two other types of fall protection are fall guarding, which prevents access to a fall hazard area, and fall restraint, which prevents falls among workers in a fall hazard area.

Fall arrest systems are a must in work scenarios that require workers to be in elevated positions, which automatically pose a falling risk. These systems are necessary for those who are working from a minimum height of 6 feet. Working height is the distance that begins from the working surface all the way to the lower level.

General (nets) and personal (lifelines) are the two key forms of fall arrest. The fall arrest system only becomes useful if a fall has occurred. As specified in OSHA standards, the only acceptable personal fall arrest systems are retractable lifelines, or full-body harnesses that come with shock-absorbing lanyards. Full-body harnesses spread out arresting forces all over the workers’ body, while shock-absorbing lanyards minimize the total applied force.

Types of Fall Protection Systems

Depending on their purpose and the activities they are designed for, OSHA recommends various types of fall safety equipment, such as body belts, suspension belts, rope grabs, rails and more.

Choosing the Best System for Your Team

Do you have doubts as to which of the systems discussed above would suit your team best, or whether the one you’re using or planning to use satisfies OSHA requirements? Don’t think twice about consulting professionals who can supply all the necessary details and the fall arrest protection equipment itself that you need to ensure your workers’ safety. Begin your online search for a good workplace safety partner.

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