As with any type of PPE, harnesses, and lanyards must be a last resort for fall protection. It must first be determined if the fall hazard can be eliminated by removing the need to work at heights or near the unprotected hazard. If this is infeasible, what engineering controls can be put in place? For example, can you install guard rails, cover the opening, block or restrict access to unprotected areas, use a scissors lift instead of a ladder, or install a personal fall restraint system? If none of these are feasible or are used and additional fall protection is necessary, then personal fall arrest systems must be used.
OSHA requires employers to provide for fall protection according to the list mentioned above. All hazards are to be addressed using the hierarchy of controls.
(1) Eliminate the hazard, (2) Substitution, (3) Engineering Controls, (4) Administrative Controls, and (5) Personal Protective Equipment – Fall arrest system
If it has been determined that the employee must wear a harness and lanyard, they must first be trained in the hazards present when working at heights and at what heights fall protection is required. Then the employee must be trained on how to use and inspect this critical piece of personal safety equipment.
This whitepaper provides insights on selecting personal fall arrest system equipment, tips for fit and material as well as illustrations on the necessary length of a lanyard for specific working heights and much more.
Access this whitepaper to find professional advice on selecting and using a personal fall arrest system to protect your organization’s most valuable resource – the worker.