28% of all deaths in the workplace are caused by falling from heights according to the Health and Safety Executive, which equates to approximately 37 deaths per year. The same type of accident was also responsible for 43,000 non-fatal injuries between 2013 and 2018. Working at heights will always be dangerous due to the unstoppable force of gravity! But the way that employers approach accident prevention is the key to reducing these entirely avoidable tragedies. Alongside carrying out regular risk assessments and taking proactive steps such as providing training for employees, you can also effectively improve your accident prevention strategies by providing quality fall protection gear.
What Types of Job Are Most Risky?
In the case of deaths caused by falling in the workplace, 60% of them occurred when working with:
- Unstable roofs
- Roof edges
Unless the level your employees are working on has a safe, sturdy roof and is surrounded by guard rails, they will always be at risk of falling unless adequate fall protection steps are taken.
Assessing Your Risks
When looking at the various risks that may apply to the structure you’re working with, or a particular project your employees are working on, you should begin by creating a system specification for fall protection. This may be conducted by professionals such as architects, engineers, or else just your installation team. They’ll need to have a thorough look at the structure that needs to be climbed as well as the individual access points such as ladders, that your staff will be using. Compliance with health and safety regulations should always be considered when deciding which are the best types of fall protection gear to use.
The Aim Of Your Fall Protection Gear
When selecting your PPE fall protection gear, be aware of the purpose of the equipment to ensure that it is right for your needs. Employers can choose from fall protection roofing kits, scaffolding kits and construction kits for example.
Your priority will usually be to invest in a fall arrest system for your staff, meaning that if someone was to fall, then the protection gear would stop them from hitting either the ground, the structure that they were working from or any other obstacle in the way. The personal protective equipment would effectively break their fall and limit the force of impact on the body.
Responsibilities Of The Employer
According to health and safety laws, it is always the responsibility of the employer to carry out the necessary risk assessments to safeguard their staff from the risk of falling in the workplace. These assessments should occur regularly with written documentation to record the findings. The fall protection gear should always be provided and paid for by the employer, with no cost to the employee at all. Make sure that you choose quality fall gear that will provide maximum protection; this should be CE certified to prove that it meets European standards. When issued with the necessary kit, the employee should take responsible steps to maintain it and ensure that it is in good working order.
Harnesses, lanyards, anchor points and other types of fall protection gear can only be effective if they’re:
- worn correctly
- worn every time that a person is working at a height
To ensure that this happens, your employees should have training which shows them how to fit the PPE gear so that it will work effectively in the event of a fall. They should also know what to do should they fall whilst wearing the gear.
A further step towards full compliance should be to commit to reading and signing your health and safety policy which requires them to wear their issued fall protection gear and to report any known defects with it as a top priority.
You can’t put a price on protecting your employees from falling in the workplace, although the cost of investing in quality fall protection gear is actually extremely affordable. Safety harnesses start from just £2.10 whilst single lanyards are available from £13.61. If you wish to purchase a comprehensive package, then you’ll find everything you need in one of our fall protection kits.
The 10m Roofing Kit comes complete with:
- 2-point harness
- 12mm Detachable Rope Grab
- 10m Kernmantle Static Rope
- Nylon Drawstring Bag
The cost of many of our PPE products is made cheaper when you commit to placing a bulk order with us. If you have any questions about our selection of fall protection gear, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable professionals today on 0808 109 6099.