Companies need to take adequate safety precautions to ensure their employees have effective protection when working at great heights. Otherwise, even a minor fall can cause grave injuries, depending on the landing area, the size and type of fall, and impact force.
They can choose active measures or passive safeguards to ensure protection in case of falls. So it’s important to know what is active versus passive safety?
Active and passive safety are two pivotal types of fall protection techniques that have helped the construction industry create safe work environments for its personnel.
The following information elaborates on these methods while also covering various other aspects of safeguarding against falls at work.
Training workers in fall prevention
Over four hundred fatalities resulted from accidental slips and trips in the construction industry in 2019 alone. So, while following OSHA guidelines is paramount, it is also best to train workers in fall prevention techniques. It will help them gauge, understand, and identify dangerous situations or work spots where they are most likely to slip or tumble.
Also, informing them of the perils of each job beforehand is crucial as it will enable them to prepare for the work environment likewise. Finally, update all your training methods with time to stay relevant and in line with current industry standards for safety.
Investing in high-quality equipment is essential
Training your workforce to avoid falling during the job will not help if you do not have top-quality safety equipment to back them. Therefore, look for reputable suppliers who will provide you with exceptional guardrails, lanyards, body harnesses, and other vital gear at reasonable costs.
A company needs to invest in an overhead anchor point that can withstand at least 5000 LB in weight. You can also opt for shock-absorbing slings and cables to make matters safer for the people on site. Several companies purchase self-retracting lines that add an extra layer of security if an employee falls, ensuring to pull the person back up swiftly before impact.
Always check your safety measures and equipment before any job, ensuring none of it will malfunction and result in tragedy.
When to ensure fall protection
The legal guidelines state that businesses must ensure protection when workers are on sites with heights around six feet and above. But it would help if you guaranteed security against tumbles and topples on any job site that poses such fall risks.
For instance, keep an eye out for unprotected edges and sharp ledges that spell danger, high places needing sturdy ladders, and low-slope rooftops that need repair. Also, for people working on excavation sites or regions extending far below the surface, it’s crucial to provide safety, such as pipelines, need ramps, solid walkways, steel ladders, etc., to ensure they do not slip or fall into the crevice.
Folks working on or near wall openings also need adequate protection as the dilapidated structure might topple unexpectedly. Therefore, ensure that a steady framework keeps the delicately hanging heavy wall intact while the workers complete their tasks. It’s important to ensure the safety of workers at all times.
Active vs. passive protection
So, what is active versus passive safety? While they are both effective fall protection techniques, they work differently.
Passive safety is primarily the kind you can classify as static, inert, or immobile. It does not demand any manual or human effort to work, being fully capable of shielding employees against nasty falls. For instance, consider robust equipment such as guardrails, a roof hatch, barricades, or a netting system that can stand by itself. These measures can be categorized as a second line of defense, thereby passive.
In contrast, active safety is the method that uses human interaction, more precisely, the participation of the workers involved on the job, to create a fall-protected work environment. Excellent examples include body harnesses, snap hooks, and cables that hold workers up midair. These are sophisticated gears designed to prevent individuals from falling in the first place or restraining their falls from avoiding severe injuries.
Both methods are effective and suitable to invest in, especially when working on complex projects that involve scaling massive heights with a large shipment of tools.
Hire the right professionals
It is vital to vet companies before hiring them to determine their capability to handle your specific requirements. Preferably, look for one that provides top-grade safety equipment and the workforce to install it at your site. This way, you can save on excessive charges and time, ensuring completion at a good pace.
You can browse online reviews, customer testimonials, products and services lists, contact information, and other critical details on their website as part of the research. Reputable companies will always display this data on their front page, assuring visitors and potential customers of their authenticity and reliability.
You may be interested in: Managing Health and Safety in the Construction Industry