From High Risk to No Risk: The Five Stages of The Fall Protection Hierarchy

When it comes to ensuring that a life is saved in the event of fall, fall protection equipment is usually the most preferred option, however, the relationship between these two concepts is either right or wrong. For, ideal fall protection equipment is one that can save the worker even before the accident of a fall happens.

The hierarchy of fall is considered as the bedrock of fall protection; it helps in defining the different applications of fall protection equipment and also rates its uses in terms of public preference, from the least to the most.

Fall Restraints, Fall Prevention as well as Fall Arrests are terms frequently used pertaining to this industry. Most times they are erroneously used interchangeably when relating to any subject that has to do with the protection of workers from fall accidents.

The following are different applications that constitute the fall protection hierarchy, arranged from the least preferred to the most preferred. They are;

#1: Safety Monitor

This is the least preferred option in the hierarchy of the fall application as it possesses the highest risk. Under this procedure, a well-trained safety worker is responsible for monitoring the work as well as the safety of the other workers. The safety monitoring process must adhere to the standard requirements of OSHA as well as other regulatory standards.

#2: Fall Arrest

Here, the equipment that workers are designed to hold the worker in any event of a fall. Though it is commonly considered as an application for fall equipment, it is actually the second least preferred is not safe because trying to arrest a fall exposes such worker to significant and even harmful tendencies. Also, most times saving a worker who fell could be very cumbersome and very dangerous.

#3: Fall Restraint

Here, there is nothing shielding the workers from anything that could cause them to fall instead they use protective equipment. The equipment is always engineered to confine the user from reaching the fall hazard. Consider this scenario, workers in an environment that has fall hazards, use fall restraint if they use a 6’ lanyard attached to an anchor to prevent them from falling.

#4: Fall Prevention

This involves the use of equipment to ensure that hazards remain inaccessible. For example, a guardrail serves as a barrier that prevents the workers from being a victim of any fall incidence.

#5: Hazard Elimination

This is the most preferred safest option, everyone always loves to work to in an environment where there are no fall hazards. It involves the removal of hazards via maintenance and construction. A good example is a window that is under construction in a residential building, which constitutes a hazard. However, once the construction of the window is completed then the hazard disappears.

Since the fall protection hierarchy have been carefully explained, it is important you always remember them and use them whenever you work to ensure your safety. You can check out Nouvelle Hauteur for different fall protection courses that could benefit your team more.

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