Fall ProtectionThe US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers take steps to protect their workers from workplace injuries and to provide the safest possible working environment. Beyond that legal requirement, most companies feel an ethical and moral imperative to protect their employees and likewise recognize that accidents are expensive, derail productivity, and harm the business’s reputation. This means that having the correct safety gear on hand at jobsites is a must for any successful, legally compliant company. Let’s take a look at a key category of safety gear — fall protection — what it entails, and how it helps keep workers safe.

The Importance of Fall Protection Gear

According to data from OSHA there were 291 fatal falls in the construction industry in 2013, making falls the leading cause of death in construction. However, the problem is far from restricted to the construction industry alone; fall related accidents, as well as accidents involving crushing and being struck by falling objects, are consistently listed as leading causes of injuries and death across a spectrum of industrial workplaces and industries.

One of the most troubling aspects of fall-related accidents is that in the majority of cases they are either completely preventable or the injuries and damage could be mitigated with proper gear. In fact OSHA mandates that fall protection be in place for workers who are working at an elevation of four or more feet in general industrial workplaces, with slightly differing requirements placed on elevated work being done in other specific industries ranging from four-to-eight feet in elevation. Additionally, fall protection equipment is required any time work is being done over potentially dangerous equipment and materials, regardless of the elevation.

Preventing Falls from Happening

Workplaces must strive to prevent falls from happening in the first place. To do this companies must be vigilant about supervision, workplace orientation, and safety training.

  • Guardrails
  • Handrails
  • Floor-hole covers
  • Proper footwear
  • Warning signs and tape
  • Rope and cords
  • Sturdy hooks

Additionally it is crucial that equipment be properly stored and put away when not in use, that spills and other slipping hazards be promptly cleaned up, and that all workers and others on-site be made aware of potential hazards immediately.

Minimizing Damage from Accidents

While most falls can be prevented with proper safety precautions and safety equipment, sometimes accidents still happen. That is why OSHA mandates that workers in many industries be provided with Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Safety equipment designed to catch workers in the event of a fall includes the following:

  • Full-body safety harnesses
  • Padded safety harnesses
  • Universal safety harnesses with D-rings
  • Self-retracting lanyards
  • Shock-absorbing lanyards
  • Double or twin-tail lanyards
  • Lifeline ropes and hooks
  • Anchoring equipment for harnesses, ropes, and lanyards

This fall protection equipment is in addition to other protective gear such as helmets and head protection equipment, eye, ear, or respiratory protection equipment, and other protective gear, safety vests, or first aid equipment.

Gopher Industrial Supplies a Full Range of Fall Protection and Safety Equipment

Gopher Industrial is your one-stop shop for all industrial parts and supplies including high-quality, tested and proven fall protection and safety equipment. We have a wide range of products from trusted manufacturers that are designed to meet the safety and quality standards of any industry. This equipment can be easily and quickly ordered online using our eGopher shop or your can call our knowledgeable representatives at 1-800-997-3177 for more information about products and safety equipment.