Buy a Safety Harness with Your Training Program!
According to OSHA, falls from aerial lifts and scissor lifts are the top causes of deaths in worksites. That is why OSHA has created their Fall Protection program and has made it a requirement among all aerial lift operators. Proper Fall Protection includes special training to recognize, avoid, and prevent fall hazards, as well as certain tools operators use to prevent fatal falls. A fall protection harness and lanyard are among the tools that are used for fall prevention which fall under the category of Fall Arrest systems. While training is used as a preventative measure, fall protection equipment is used to protect the worker should a fall occur.
The truth of the matter is that accidents happen, even when trained workers are present. That’s why it’s essential, and required by OSHA, to employ quality fall protection equipment like harnesses and lanyards in your jobsite to protect workers from serious injuries and death from falls.
Because safety is a priority here at Certifymeonline.net, we are now offering the option to add on a safety harness with your online training and certification. View our harnesses now, and keep reading to learn more about this important piece of fall protection equipment.
The 4 Components of Fall Protection
Fall protection systems involve four main categories to be effective at preventing falls, and they include: Fall arrest, Positioning, Suspension, and Retrieval.
1. Fall Arrest
A fall arrest system is used when there is a risk of a fall on a worksite, or if the operator is working at a height of six feet or more. A fall arrest system includes a fall protection harness, shock-absorbing lanyard and is used only when a fall actually occurs. It is not a preventable measure but a safety precaution that assumes that a fall is always possible when working at elevated positions.
A positioning system holds the operator in place and allows them to work easily with their hands. A positioning system is used to secure the worker and is activated if they lean back.
A suspension system also does not restrict a worker’s hands, and is designed to lower and support the worker while they perform tasks like window washing and painting. Harnesses and lanyards should be used in addition to a suspension system to arrest a fall should it occur.
Although it is basically the worst case scenario, retrieving someone who has fallen should be incorporated into a comprehensive fall protection plan.
Fall Arrest System
While worker safety training is a key component to preventing falls, it cannot be assumed that they will never happen. Unpredictable circumstances occur and having a fall arrest system in place is the most essential way to prevent injuries and fatalities from falls from aerial lifts and scissor lifts. The main component of the fall arrest system is the fall protection harness.
What is a Fall Protection Harness?
There are typically two main types of safety harnesses: chest harnesses and full-body harnesses. Chest harnesses fall under the category of Class 2 fall protection systems, according to OSHA, and are used when there is only a limited risk of a fall. Full body harnesses are Class 3 fall protection equipment and are the most effective at arresting the most serious types of free falls and protecting workers’ lives. Harnesses come in either three-point or five-point designs, and involve a sturdy strap across the chest and straps that wrap under and around the legs. The chest and leg straps are attached to straps that support the back and offer a place for the lanyard to attach, in addition to the chest strap.
Harnesses provide attachment points for a lanyard which attaches to the lift and provides arrest against falls should the worker loose balance, or the lift comes into contact with another object, or is struck by a vehicle. Harnesses ensure the worker does not fall to the ground or come into contact with a lower object to avoid injuries and death.
Why Are Safety Harnesses So Important?
The mechanism and purpose of the fall protection harness is to stop a worker from free falling from an aerial lift or scissor lift and distributes the forces of the fall equally throughout the body. It is used in the event of a fall, and is meant to prevent the fall from causing severe injuries and fatalities. According to OSHA, falls are among the most common accidents that result in injuries and deaths. It is essential for employers to put fall protection systems and tools into place to prevent these accidents from occurring.
When and Where Are Harnesses Used?
Every worker that operates or works on the platform of an aerial lift must complete fall protection training to understand how to recognize hazards, and must wear harnesses and other fall protection tools when working on the aerial lift in an elevated position. The most common workers who wear harnesses are electrical power line workers, industrial painters, window washers, commercial sign workers, and tree workers. For any other working environment not listed here, fall arrest systems are required whenever a worker is performing duties at an elevated position of at least six feet, or when working over visible dangers like equipment and machinery.
What Should I Look for When Buying Fall Protection Equipment?
When you are looking into purchasing fall arrest harnesses for yourself or employees, there are a few characteristics you shouldn’t compromise on. These include:
- – Quick connect buckles
- – Carbon steel hardware
- – Durable, adjustable straps
- – Reflective visibility tape
- – Six-foot lanyard that is shock-absorbing
For added comfort, look for a fall protection harness that comes with padded shoulder and back support straps. If you’re looking for a full-body harness, ensure the product is adjustable, has visibility features, has padded straps, is made from a material that can handle high temperatures, and comes with double-locking snap hooks.
Additionally, it is important to purchase a lanyard that is neither shorter nor longer than six feet, because any shorter and it might bounce you back into the platform, and one too long may not be able to arrest you properly and may cause too much rebound. A six-foot shock-absorbing lanyard will be able to arrest a fall at an appropriate height and decreases the force of the fall.
Important Points to Keep in Mind with Safety Harnesses
When working with a safety harness, it is important to ensure it fits properly and feels snug to the body, without being too tight or uncomfortable. Always put on the harness before you get onto the aerial lift and begin any work. At the start of each work day when you will be working in elevated positions on the lift, perform a comprehensive harness inspection. To begin, start at one end of the harness belts and rings, hold the body side of the belt towards you grasping the belt in your hands and bend the belt in an inverted “U.” Look for frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, and cuts. Make sure the rings do not have any cracks or sharp edges.
Be sure to check the attachments for buckles and rings carefully, and note any signs of wear, and frayed or cut fibers. Make sure buckles are not distorted in any way.
When checking the web lanyard, observe the webbed material while bending it over a piece of piping. Doing so will reveal any cuts or frays of the material.
Check out the high-quality fall protection harness kits from CertifyMeOnline.net that exceed OSHA requirements and be prepared to protect your life and the lives of your employees from falls.