In the construction industry, fall-related accidents account for approximately 40 percent of all fatalities. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry. These accidents occur almost exclusively as a result of not using roof safety equipment. Improper use of the equipment also contributes to the statistic
As a result, the construction industry is developing increasingly efficient protective gear to avoid such accidents from occurring. Here are ten roof safety equipment for construction workers to use:
Adjustable full-body harness
These harnesses allow you to attach a rope or lanyard to catch someone who falls from any height. They are designed in such a way that the force caused by falling will cause minimal injuries. The harness is secured over each shoulder, around each leg, and across the chest. Typically, the rope clips onto the back, but it can also clip to the sternum. Adjusting the harness to the appropriate size is crucial to the user’s safety.
The anchor point generally looks like a plate or bar with a protruding piece to which a clip could be attached. This anchor point is where the worker will attach the other end of his or her lifeline. The fall arrest anchors must be located in a central area of the roof. This location allows the worker enough space to do what they need to do. The equipment must be capable of withstanding high levels of force in the event of a fall.
The lanyard is essentially a rope that connects the worker’s harness to the lifeline. Some lanyards contain an energy absorption feature. This means the rope has a little bit of give. If someone falls while attached to it, reaching the end of the rope does not force them to come to a hard stop.
The lifeline is essentially a rope that connects to the anchor of any roof safety system. Often, these ropes are made of a Polypropylene blend, and they do not contain an energy absorber like the lanyard typically does. The lifeline can be used in three distinct ways: horizontal lifeline, vertical lifeline, and self-retractable lifelines (SLRs).
A horizontal lifeline can support multiple workers at one time. However, a vertical lifeline can only support one. SLRs are designed to be used only by one individual. There are a few different types depending on whether the device is mounted overhead or not.
Travel restraint system
With a travel restraint system, the worker is attached to a point on the roof that allows them to move as far as the edge of the roof, but not far enough that they might fall off it. The entire system typically includes a full-body harness, a lifeline, a lanyard, and a rope grab.
Guardrails can be both temporary or permanent. Temporary guardrails are good during the construction phase, to ensure that workers don’t fall. However, if the roof is going to be accessed frequently, a company may decide that permanent guardrails are necessary to the safety of their employees.
This system, also known as a rope grab, connects a lanyard to the lifeline. Just like a seat belt, the rope grab will move smoothly when steady, constant force is applied, but in the event of a sharp jerk or tug, the system will lock up.
Fall restricting system
The purpose of a fall restricting system is to ensure that if a person does fall, their fall is no longer than 0.6 metres. This lowers the worker’s chance of hitting the ground or any other object below where they are working, and it will exert less force onto their body when they reach the end of their fall.
In a fall restricting system, the rope typically attaches to the front of the harness, instead of the back like in a travel restraint system or fall arrest system.
Fall arrest system
The typical fall arrest system consists of a body harness – as with most other available systems, a fixed support, and a lanyard that includes an energy absorber. The energy absorber will absorb most of the force of the fall, so that it is not inflicted upon the worker’s body.
The only time a fall arrest system would not have an energy absorber on the lanyard is if that feature would cause the user to hit the ground or another object in the event of a fall.
As opposed to keeping the worker from falling or falling too far, the safety net allows the worker to fall. However, it catches them at the bottom before they hit the ground.
The safety net is typically considered a less preferable option compared to some of the other available roof safety equipment. However, it does the trick. While other equipment is easy enough to purchase and install, an engineer must design, test, and supervise a safety net.