What is fall protection? As its name implies, fall protection is a safety system designed to protect people working at heights of six feet or more from falls. It consists of components such as safety harnesses, lanyards, and anchor points. Anyone who’s working at a height can benefit from the use of fall protection systems, but people in certain careers utilize this safety gear more than most. Here are four types of jobs that require fall protection on a near-daily basis.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries worldwide, and part of the reason is due to falls. Roughly one-third of construction workplace fatalities each year are the result of falls to a lower level.
Fall protection isn’t necessary for washers scrubbing low-hanging first-story windows. But when attending to multi-story homes, washers need to gear up. The average two-story home is 18 to 20 feet tall. Falls from these distances are rarely lethal, but they can break bones and cause serious head trauma. Larger buildings like skyscrapers can be hundreds of feet tall, making fall protection systems life-saving devices.
Another type of job that requires fall protection is roofing. Roofers, like window washers, regularly work on multi-story buildings. Working at these heights is dangerous, especially since roofers rarely have suspended scaffolding as an added buffer between them and holes, jutting shingles, and tripping hazards in their work area.
Powerline Utility Worker
Power lines may not be as high off the ground as buildings, but powerline utility workers are still at risk of fall-related injuries. One reason that powerline work is so dangerous is that many powerlines hang near roads, and the hard asphalt of roadways is a poor place to land. Even short falls can result in traumatic injury.
If you work one of these jobs, it’s a smart idea to invest in professional-grade fall protection gear, such as Fusion harnesses and lanyards. However, before you buy, learn what to consider when purchasing a fall protection system. Generally, so long as the system meets OSHA standards and fits snugly, it should adequately protect you from falls.