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Fall Protection in Construction
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Fall Protection in Construction

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  1. Fall Protectionin Construction

  2. Session Objectives • You will be able to: • Recognize fall hazards and identify when fall protection is needed • Use basic fall protection systems • Prevent objects from falling • Inspect personal fall arrest systems • Rescue yourself and others from falls

  3. Fall Statistics • Leading cause of construction industry fatalities • 700 workers killed each year • 100,000 workers injured each year • 40% of construction industry injuries are related to falls

  4. Fall Protection Regulation • 29 CFR 1926.500 to 1926.503 • Construction sites • All workers who might be exposed to fall hazards • Recognize fall hazards and follow training procedures to minimize fall hazard • Scaffolds, cranes and derricks, steel erection, tunneling, electrical transmission, and ladders and stairways not covered here

  5. Employer Requirements • Assess site conditions • Select fall protection • Install fall protection systems • Follow safe work procedures • Train workers

  6. Recognize Free Fall Hazards • Edges • Sloping surfaces • Ladders • Holes or openings • Tools and equipment Image credit: State of WA-WISHA Services

  7. When Is Fall Protection Needed? • 6 feet or more above a lower level • Hazard of falling into dangerous equipment • Specific areas or activities • While walking and working surfaces are being inspected

  8. Fall Hazards—Any Questions? • Do you understand the hazards of falls and fall protection requirements?

  9. Fall Protection Systems • Fall prevention (restraint) systems • Fall arrest systems

  10. Fall Prevention—Safe Work Practices • Keep area clean • Look • Listen • Use fall protection • Avoid dropping objects • Never run

  11. Fall Prevention Systems and Practices • Positioning device system—harness • Guardrails • Warning line systems • Safety monitoring systems • Controlled access zones (CAZs) • Covers • Protection from falling objects

  12. Positioning Device System—Harness • Harness connected by a lanyard to an anchor as fall restraint • Allows movement around worksite • Prevents going over the edge Image credit: State of WA-WISHA Services

  13. Guardrail Systems • Most common protection to restrain workers from falls • Top rail withstand 200-pound force • Midrail withstand 150-pound force • Toeboard withstand 50-pound force

  14. Guardrail Systems (cont.) • Smooth, no projections • Fall arrest system required when guardrails are removed • Guards unprotected openings, excavations, and ramps Image credit: State of WA-WISHA Services

  15. Warning Line System • Warns workers to stay away from fall hazards • Consists of ropes, wires, chains • Flagged every 6 feet • Must be 34-39 inches above working surface • Erected around all sides of roof work area at least 6 feet from edge

  16. Warning Line System (cont.) • Stanchions must not tip over easily • Workers must be trained to stay out • Work outside the line requires another fall arrest system

  17. Safety Monitor System • Monitors and warns workers • Recognizes fall hazards • Communicates with workers • No other duties • Keeps unauthorized workers away • Workers must comply with safety monitor Image credit: State of WA-WISHA Services

  18. Controlled Access Zones • Regulated work areas without conventional fall protection systems • Combination warning line and safety monitor systems • Limited access to qualified employees • Allow leading edge work without fall protection systems • Designated and clearly marked work areas • Lines run the length of the unprotected edge

  19. Hole Covers • Prevents worker or worker’s body part from penetrating a walking or working surface • Required for all holes equal or greater than 2 inches wide • Twice the load of people or equipment • Secured to prevent accidental displacement • Color-coded, or marked with “HOLE” or “COVER”

  20. Prevent Objects From Falling • Use screens or panels to prevent tools or equipment from falling on workers • Store materials 4 feet from edge • For roofing work, store material 6 feet from edge • Use canopies strong enough to prevent collapse and prevent penetration • Keep areas barricaded where objects are likely to fall

  21. Prevent Objects From Falling (cont.) • Use toeboards • Keep tools, materials, and debris picked up • Don’t throw objects down to lower levels • Wear a hard hat

  22. Fall Prevention—Any Questions? • Do you understand basic fall restraint systems: guardrails, harnesses, controlled access zones, warning lines, hole covers, safety monitoring, or preventing objects from falling?

  23. Fall Arrest—Safety Net System • Nets intended to catch falling workers • Installed under working surface • 30 feet or less below workers • Inspect regularly • Sufficient clearance • Remove fallen items

  24. Personal Fall Arrest System—Harness • Harness distributes arresting forces • Harness for fall arrest, positioning, or suspension • Body belt is not part of a fall arrest system

  25. Effective Personal Fall Arrest System • Maximum arresting force of 1,800 lbs • Free fall no more than 6 feet • Avoid contact with a lower level • Max deceleration distance of 3.5 feet • Designed to withstand twice the impact forces

  26. Fall Arrest System— Connectors • Connectors (snaphooks and rings) attach the lanyard to the anchor and harness • Ensure that snaphooks lock in place • Non-locking snaphooks are prohibited

  27. Fall Arrest System— Connectors (cont.) • Snaphook don’ts: • Webbing or rope • Another snaphook • D-ring with another snaphook attached • Horizontal lifeline • Object incompatible in shape or dimension Image credit: State of WA-WISHA Services

  28. Fall Arrest System— Lanyard • Flexible line with connector that connects harness to the anchor • Often contains a deceleration device • No knots or wrapping around sharp objects

  29. Fall Arrest System— Lifeline • Lifelines connect personal fall arrest system to anchor • Vertical—hang from one anchor point • Horizontal—stretched between two anchor points • Ropes and straps made of synthetic fibers • Protect against being cut or abraded

  30. Fall Arrest System— Deceleration Device • Dissipates energy during fall arrest • Rip-stitch, tearing, or stretching lanyard • Rope grab device • Retracting lifelines or lanyards • Lanyard required where there is no deceleration device

  31. Fall Arrest System— Anchors • Secure point of attachment for lifeline, lanyard, or deceleration device • Withstand 5,000 pound force per person • Anchor point above you • Ask if unsure about proper anchor points

  32. Inspect Personal Fall Arrest Systems • Inspect before each use • Check D-rings • Check ropes, straps, tongue-buckle • Ensure that parts move freely • Remove defective components

  33. Rescue Plan • Safely rescue worker in the shortest time possible • Blood pulls in legs when suspended, leading to fainting • If suspended in a harness • Push legs against objects for blood flow • Raise legs if possible

  34. Questions? • Do you understand the information on fall arrest systems?

  35. What’s Wrong Here? • Identify the fall hazards • What fall protection is missing?

  36. Key Points to Remember • Recognize fall hazards • Use and operate fall protection systems • Implement safe work practices • Inspect fall protection systems • Protect from falling objects • Rescue