Understanding Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint Standards, and Their Advantages

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. As well, these standards apply to training, and proper detection and abatement of hazards for the protection of employees who work at height.

Importance of Using Fall Protection and Fall Restraint Standards

Businesses and organizations can be guided by the standards in the Z359 Fall Protection Code to meet a whole range of workplace fall protection and fall restraint requirements. Using this code, safety professionals will be able to understand the said requirements further, and hence create a total managed fall protection program, along with active fall protection systems.

If you employ people who have to work at height, you must provide fall arrest protection equipment as dictated by the 29th Title of the Federal Regulations Code of the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Fall Arrest 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 should be used by anyone who works from 6 feet plus above ground. Working height is the distance that begins from the working surface all the way to the lower level.

There are two main types of fall arrest – personal (lifelines) and general (nets). The fall arrest system is used only when a fall has occurred. 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 spread out arresting forces all over the workers’ body, while shock-absorbing lanyards minimize the total applied force.

Types of Fall Protection Systems

Depending on their purpose and the activities they are made for, OSHA proposes several types of fall safety equipment, like chest harnesses, rope, web and cable lanyards.

Choosing the Best System for 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? Don’t hesitate to seek the help of professionals who can give you all the relevant details and provide the fall arrest protection equipment you need to secure your workers. Begin your online search for a good workplace safety partner.

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