Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a desk job. There are a lot of people in the work force, including construction workers and window cleaners who not only have to work outside, but can work many feet off of the ground. This line of work may not be ideal, but it is necessary and most importantly, it is dangerous. Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear. In order to keep these workers safe, the OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, makes sure that these employers use a fall protection system for their employees.
OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. The use of a fall protection system is something that has proven to work. Worker injuries and illnesses are down — from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.4 per 100 in 2011. The type of equipment used in a fall protection system include lifting equipment, such as lifting chains and lifting slings, marine rope, and other supplies.
Tests are run to ensure that only the best quality is used when making these OSHA fall protection devices. Fall arrest is of two major types: general fall arrest, such as nets; and personal fall arrest, such as lifelines. According to OSHA, during the testing of all fall arrest systems, a test weight of 300 pounds (plus or minus 5 pounds) should be used. These strict rules and regulations help to ensure that the workers using these products are safe and secure.
Just because dangerous jobs need to be done, doesn?t mean that those doing them should be subjected to harsh environments. Safety is the number one goal for the employers of these jobs and the same goes for the employees doing these jobs, as well as their friends and families. OSHA fall protection is here to help us all.