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Understanding Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint Standards and Why They Should Be Implemented

The ANSI/ASSP Z359 fall protection and fall restraint standards are designed for fall protection equipment and systems used in work positioning, fall arrest, evacuation and other fall hazards. Also, these standards affect training, and proper identification and abatement of hazards to protect people working at height.

Significance of Fall Protection and Fall Restraint Standards

Organizations and businesses can rely on the standards in the Z359 Fall Protection Code for addressing a long list of fall protection and fall restraint requirements that must be followed in the workplace. With this code, safety professionals can understand these requirements more clearly, allowing them to develop an all-inclusive managed fall protection program together with active fall protection systems.

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Fall Arrest and Its Mechanism

Fall arrest is a type of fall protection whose goal is to safely stop a person’s fall. There are two other forms of fall protection – fall guarding (keeps a fall hazard area inaccessible to people) and fall restraint (prevents falls of workers in a fall hazard area).

Fall arrest systems are vital in working conditions where workers have to be in elevated positions, which naturally pose a falling risk. These systems are necessary for those who are working from a minimum height of 6 feet. The distance between the working surface and the lower level is known as working height.

Fall arrest comes in two basic types, namely, general (nets) and personal (lifelines). The fall arrest system is only used in the event of a fall. As per OSHA standards, retractable lifelines and full-body harnesses that include shock-absorbing lanyards are the only acceptable personal fall arrest systems. Full-body harnesses are meant to scatter arresting forces all throughout the body, while shock-absorbing lanyards bring down the total forces applied.

Types of Fall Protection Systems

Depending on their designated purpose and the activities for which they are intended, OSHA suggests multiple types of fall safety equipment, including full body harnesses, shock absorbers, safety nets, and the rest.

Picking the Right System to Support Your Team

Unsure which of the systems mentioned above is right for your team, or whether the one you’re using or might use passes OSHA’s standards? You will do well to consult experts who can provide all the important details and as well as the fall arrest protection equipment you actually need for the security of your workers. Begin your online search for a good workplace safety partner.

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