There are three categories of falls, and different prevention practices for each. At Safe Keeper, your safety is our business. We can help you understand how to best mitigate the hazards of each.
Workplace falls can be categorized into three different types of falls: falls on a single level, falls to a lower level, and swing falls. Each fall category has different ways to address and remediate the specific fall hazards. Looking at the fall hazards that may be present in your line of business—and thus how to proactively mitigate those fall hazards—is an important step in any company’s safety management strategy.
- Falls on a single level. These falls happen when a worker falls or trips on a single working level. These types of falls can be caused by uneven footways or footways containing equipment, fixtures, or debris. Similarly, fall hazards on a single level can be caused by worn footwear or footwear with an incompatible tread. These fall hazards can be controlled through maintaining clear footways, requiring specific shoe tread, and implementing passive fall protection systems like handrails, enclosed ladders, and catwalks.
- Falls to a lower level. These falls occur when a worker falls from an elevated level to a lower level, such as falling off a roof, falling from a second floor to a first floor, or falling off of the top of a vehicle. The majority of fall-related injuries and deaths result from these types of falls. OSHA regulations require that employers provide fall protection for workers in any “general Industry setting” where an employee may fall four or more feet to a lower level. Similarly, another OSHA requirement maintains that active fall protection systems must stop a fall to zero acceleration within a distance of 3.5 feet, making a fall arrest system composed of a full-body harness connected to an anchorage point via a self-retracting lanyard the best option to mitigate the hazards of falls to a lower level.
- Swing Falls. Swing falls occur when a worker in a fall arrest system falls from an elevated level and the anchor point is not directly overhead. This causes the falling worker to fall with an angle in the lanyard. The worker is swung back toward the attachment point by the lanyard, coming into contact with whatever vertical surface is present. The injuries and fatalities that can be caused by a worker being slammed into the side of a building, container, vehicle, or other structure can be mitigated by ensuring the anchor point is always directly overhead of the worker.
Safe Keeper has an inventory of fall protection systems like harnesses, lanyards, anchor solutions and accessories, and more! Contact us so we can help you and your employees stay safe.