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Fall Protection

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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One of the most important types of on-the-job equipment is fall protection. Trauma sustained from falls has been consistently the third leading cause of death in the American workplace, much of which could be prevented though proper training and use of fall protection devices. Many such devices are easy to use, install and disassemble in minutes, and are instrumental in preventing death of disability from falls.

Fall protection comes in many shapes and kinds, but there are some common features. Most common is a body belt or a body harness that, when worn by a person, operates with a lanyard and anchorage to prevent a fall injury. This type of personal fall arrest system also commonly includes some sort of deceleration device to ease the impact force on the person that is involved in the fall.

Personal Fall Protection Equipment

Body belts are simple devices consisting of straps that secure around a persons waist and include a point of attachment (often a D-ring or dee-ring) for a lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device. Under OSHA regulations, the maximum arresting force on a person must be limited to 900 pounds.

Body harnesses are similar to body belts but distribute the arresting force over a person's thighs, pelvis, waist, chest, and, shoulders. The maximum arresting force on a person wearing a body harness can be no greater than 1800 pounds. All lanyards, vertical or horizontal lifelines, dee-rings and snap hooks must be capable of sustaining a load of 5000 pounds.


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