Fall Arrest Systems: Your Backup Plan When Working At Heights
This is a system where a worker uses a harness and is secured onto an immovable object, via a proper rope. Some examples of when fall arrest systems are used include working on the roof of a house, climbing up a utility pole, and walking on scaffolding around a building being constructed.
Such safety systems are complicated and require proper equipment rather than makeshift assemblies. Do not risk your safety by using such a system based purely on what you've read — seek out training provided by a professional.
Basic things to know
- The system must be set up so that the worker will not hit a surface if he were to fall.
- The system must provide some give in the mechanism, otherwise a lot of force will need to be absorbed by the body, which can lead to injury even though there is no direct contact with the ground.
- If any damage is evident the equipment, must be replaced immediately.
- If the equipment has been subjected to a fall, it must be replaced immediately.
- Inspect equipment daily.
- Do not attach such a system to anything that moves or that may come loose.
Necessary components include:
- An attachment location.
- A body harness.
- A vertical lifeline, also called a lanyard.
- A horizontal lifeline.
Again, a professional should be consulted to train workers how to use this type of tool. Do NOT attempt this without proper training.