One of the most important topics presented during standard fall protection training is identifying swing fall hazards. When moving away from a fixed anchorage, any fall would result in a pendulum-like motion with a generated force equivalent to a vertical fall. Basically, anyone who falls will find themselves colliding with the wall at a force so great that the fall could be fatal. With this in mind, there are some fall protection equipment that can help prevent swing fall hazards. This article will take a brief look at three pieces of equipment that are easiest to find.
A Safety Rope with a Maximum Free Fall Distance
When working at high heights or when in situations where there is a higher risk of swing fall hazards, it's important to choose the type of safety rope you'll be using carefully. In general, you should have to requirements in mind: safety ropes that are not self-retracting and have a maximum free fall distance of 6 feet, as recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Self-retracting ropes allow for both greater vertical and horizontal mobility. This means that you'll be able to reach greater distances with just one anchorage point. While this may seem convenient, this type of safety rope actually increases the risks and potential severity of injuries during swing falls because the force generated will be significantly higher. On top of that, a greater fall distance also equates a larger generated force during a fall. Due to this reason, you want to make sure you choose a safety rope that has a maximum free fall distance.
A Sturdy and Versatile Rope Adjustment Device
Ideally, you want to minimize the amount of swing that is possible during the fall. To do this, you will need a rope adjustment device and that will also adjust the anchor point. You want to make sure that your lanyard and rope is positioned straight overhead the area that you will be working. Some rope adjustment devices will also alter and reposition the anchor point because the system is installed on a beam overhead. A rope adjustment device will also use friction to move you to a certain height position in order to minimize maximum free fall distance and amount of swing possible.
A Harness with D-rings
Another way that you can limit the risk of swing fall hazards is to make sure that you can reposition and stabilize your body easily when working at high heights. The goal is to reduce the risk of falling in general. To do this, you should use harnesses with D-rings on them. D-ring harnesses, also known as dorsal-ring harnesses, offer more protection during free falls than any other types of harnesses available.
These harnesses offer more support to the body during the fall and will also reduce the amount of force that is generated as well. These harnesses are located on your back, and will slide upon impact. They will keep you in an upright position when falling; thus, you are more likely to be able to brace yourself or control your movements during a fall.
Although having the right type of fall protection equipment can help you substantially reduce the risk of swing falls, you should also familiarize yourself, and your coworkers or employees on how to identify and remove swing fall hazards from the workplace, and how to prevent these risks in the first place. Attending fall protection training is a must. Like with most workplace safety hazards, you want to not only have the right type of fall protection equipment, but you also need to be aware of your surroundings. For more information, contact companies like Public Works Supply.