Staying Safe When Working In An Elevated Space
For every profession that routinely works in elevated spaces there are rules and procedures for keeping the workers safe. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards in place to ensure systems are put in place to keep workers safe and on the job.
While simple harnesses attached to a anchor will work for small jobs for larger ones or jobs that have the potential for weather or movement a company will want to deploy a fall arrest system for the workers. The fall arrest system must have 5 basic elements to be considered compliant with OSHA standards, they are:
- Anchorage: Simply some kind of connector that is both stable and attached to the closest non-movable object to the job.
- Body Wear: The worker should have a full body harness on.
- Connector: A strong tether that is connected both to the worker's harness and the anchorage.
- Deceleration Device: To avoid a sudden, sometimes fatal, stop during a fall a deceleration device is needed to make the stop less sudden and protect the worker.
- Emergency Plan and Equipment: A plan needs to be in place to rescue a worker who has fallen and is now being held by his/her harness. Any equipment needed to perform the rescue must be present.
If these 5 points are followed and proper training is administered the safety of workers is better assured.