The pathetic consequences of a worksite fall tend to have a great impact on the family members of the victim, their co-workers, and the reputation of the company. While falls in the construction industry are the primary grounds of injuries and deaths, they are preventable with the right safety equipment, safety audit, and safety training of workers who work at height. Of all suggested safety tools by OSHA in its regulations, the safety harnesses have become the mainstay for their reliability to protect against falls in the industry, says Jason Wible Frenchcreek.
Working at elevations is quite an integral part of the prevailing construction industry, with the trend of constructing skyscrapers. However, having the appropriate safety precautions and measures in place is just not imperative for employees, but equally for any business. A fall and consequential casualty or major injury can cost a business- like anything from non-compliance safety penalties, litigation, and loss of productivity to a re-evaluation of worker’s compensation and so on. As per OSHA reports with a whopping 43% of all job-related falls from heights, usage of safety harnesses has become an indispensable personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure fall prevention.
Harness Facts: How it Works
For effective use of safety harnesses, all construction personnel working at height, safety officers, and safety auditors need to have a clear understanding of how the mechanism of safety harness works:
Allocation of force – the primary objective of the safety harness is escaping the wearer from major damage caused by the force of falling from a high elevation, once the harness stops the wearer from falling to a lower level. Unfortunately, the traditional ‘body belt’ had the tendency to stop the falling body abruptly in the middle while all force gets exerted on the wearer’s waist. According to Jason Wible Frenchcreek the unscientific methods of arresting often lead to major internal injuries or even death and the incidence of the wearer’s slipping out of the belt was also common. The harnesses of the 21st century are more advanced and designed to allocate force across the whole body and thereby lessen the impact of any fall.
Protect vital areas – The most vulnerable and important areas of a body includes the neck, groin, spine, and stomach. All these parts are protected by a safety harness as it properly guides the grabbing energy to arrest the shoulders, chest, pelvis, upper thighs, and knees of a tripped person from the high work site.
Upright Positioning – The fallen person is kept in the vertical position, while the spine is aligned upright to absorb the fall in a better way. Moreover, this happens to be the most ideal position for fast rescuing, which becomes crucial at that moment to protect the person from suspension trauma and may take place if anyone is left hanging for a long time in any position.
Seamless Fitting – to let the harness work effectively, it must fit seamlessly with the proportions, weight, and size of the wearer. Full-body harnesses are available in different specs like straps, a variety of D-right options, seat support, or tool belts. Before buying, the employer and safety officials should choose the appropriate configuration depending on the wearer’s body type, kind of job, and other factors.
Thus, safety harnesses are proven considerably effective provided the workers wear them appropriately after a full check-up of the system.