Construction Fall Arrest Harnesses

Fall arrest harnesses are required for construction at heights. Some people involved in the industry may grumble and complain about these devices being “too restrictive,” “pointless” or for “gutless” workers, but it only takes one fall for a person to regret not wearing safety equipment. Moreover, the viewpoint in the industry is changing. Fewer people criticize the donning of fall protection equipment as they see the positive outcomes of its use. In 2007, nearly nine hundred people died from falls. 2008 welcomed OSHA enforced changes in the use and standards of fall arrest harnesses, changes that led to a twenty percent decline in work-related, fall fatalities.

Since 2008, OSHA has continued to monitor and adapt its policy for construction workers performing duties at height. Each year following has seen a decline in fall related deaths and injuries. So, no matter how wearing safety gear is viewed, the fact that it saves lives, sends spouses back to their families and friends to friends, is support enough for its use in the workforce. All major construction companies now have strict policy based around working at height. Fall safety is a top priority for these companies and the fall protection they choose is of chief importance.

Several major companies have responded to the OSHA changes for fall arrest harnesses by going above and beyond in their purchase and provision of safety equipment. The US’s largest construction provider, Bechtel, takes fall safety seriously. They have adapted a manual that differentiates between fall arrest and fall prevention, defining the situations and scenarios in which both are intended, and stated that as a company, they are working to prevent outright falls in favour of stopping a person before they lose footing and begin to plummet. At the same time Bechtel has mandated that every one of its employees use harnesses that support up to 190kgs of static weight.

When the largest company in the field adapts strict fall safety policy, smaller companies follow. Full body fall arrest harnesses are now commonly used for any worker who is performing tasks above a free-fall height of six feet. At the lowest height of six feet, many workers do feel silly wearing fall protection, but by adopting an industry standard and maintaining an unwavering attitude about its use, employers are taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of their employees. To make those employees feel the most comfortable, employers can provide fall arrest harnesses that are comfortable to wear while still being outstanding choices for protection.

Low-elevation workspaces may be fitting for body belts (though whole body devices are always a better choice). As long as the worker is fastened in, belts are effective from as high as twelve feet and if they are connected to a shock-absorbing lanyard will not damage the faller’s waist at impact. High-elevation workspaces require full-body fall arrest harnesses. The benefit of full-body fall safety is its ability to disperse the pressure of a fall throughout the entire body. Upon impact, even with a shock lanyard, a freefall of more than fifteen feet with only a belt will result in bruising and possible other injuries. A whole body device prevents a painful outcome.

Employers who care to have a reputation in the industry as an employee favourite will adopt strict fall protection guidelines. Fall safety will be a top priority and fall arrest harnesses will be enforced whenever workers are at heights greater than six feet. When a culture of safety is developed, employees will happily comply to the benefit of everyone. Ordering top-quality fall devices with premium comfort is the first step to creating such a culture.

PenoGuard™ has been at the forefront of fall safety products and fall protection safety and over the last couple of years the PenoGuard™ system is fast becoming recognised around the world as one of the premier fall safety devices. Be sure to check out our full range of both civil and construction applications and discover why so many companies are looking to employ the PenoGuard™ system.

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“Penoguard is lightweight and easy to use with engineered safety. When access is required the quick and easy fold down frames are raised, eliminating the gravitational risk and when closed the system can be locked off to prevent any unauthorised access. We recommend Penoguards fit for purpose in this application and commend C&V Engineering for providing the solution to our problem”.
Eric Randell- Site Supervisor
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-- Eric Randell
Site Supervisor
Bovis Lend Lease
Australia.