Fall Protection Systems

July 8, 2008

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Commercial painting contractors have to be able to reach very hard to get to areas in order to deliver a quality job. Smokestacks, storage tank interiors and stadium ceilings are just a few places that require specialized equipment to ensure on the job safety. Fall protection systems are an example of the specialized safety equipment needed by a painting contractor to get the job done.

Fall protection systems are broken down into six categories:

  • Fall Arrest Systems (safety line and harness)
  • Fall Containment Systems (safety nets)
  • Fixed Barriers (handrails, guardrails)
  • Surface Opening Protection (removable covers, guardrails)
  • Surface Protection (non-slip flooring)
  • Travel Restraint Systems (safety line and belt)

Not all work environments requires the same type of fall protection, nor do all work environments allow the use of every type of fall protection system. A careful examination of the work area is required to assess the potential for falls and provide the best combination of safety equipment.

When selecting safety equipment, it is always preferable to choose equipment that prevents the accident from happening at all rather than relying on equipment that reduces the impact of the accident. As applied to fall prevention, this means that fixed barriers and other systems that prevent a fall from happening are preferred over personal safety equipment such as a fall arrest system. Of course, the specific work environment will dictate the best approach or combination of approaches needed to ensure worker safety.

Coming Up: Where Is Fall Protection Needed?

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