When working at extreme heights, it is crucial that you make use of fall arrest equipment that will keep you safe from injury and, in some circumstances, death. While most if not all fall arrest equipment will boast reasons why you should purchase it, there are certain factors to consider when buying such equipment and the following are 5 of them.
1. Compliance with safety standards
Your fall arrest equipment should meet the standards set by governing bodies. For example, according to Occupational Health and Safety standards in Canada, anchors for fall arrests should be rigid, and able to support the weight of 5,000 pounds per person. Also, the anchorage should not exceed a deflection of 0.04 inches when a force of about 2,250 pounds is applied.
While most equipment does comply with safety standards, it is essential to double check to make sure. This will also ensure you provide the best protection for your employees and you do not unintentionally violate specified rules, standards, and regulations
2. Material of the components
The materials you choose for your fall arrest equipment should be durable and able to withstand external forces such as abrasions and extreme weather conditions. Fall arrest vests are made using different materials including polyester, nylon, and Kevlar. These are the strongest materials available for fall protection. As such, they are able to support heavier weights.
You should also choose fall arrest accessories made from materials that feel comfortable. Materials that do not feel comfortable will slow the speed of your work. The environment in which the fall safety equipment is used should determine the material that you choose. Internal components of fall arrest anchors and equipment should be made from a type of steel. Such materials resist corrosion and do better in dusty and wet environments.
3. Understand your needs
Before you choose your preferred fall arrest equipment you need to consider the job you will be doing. For instance, you should know the exact heights you will be working at. For instance, knowing the height will enable you to choose an anchorage with a precise fall distance. Having a longer harness strap than required for your fall protection may lead to injury or even death.
Understanding your needs is essential in choosing the type of fall protection that suits your job environment. For example, if you are handling welding projects, your fall protection should be flame-resistant. Working in areas that have chemicals, on the other hand, may require you to have chemical-resistant equipment.
4. Flexibility & ease of use
The best fall protection equipment should be flexible, provide maximum comfort, and should also be user-friendly. This way you will readily wear them when working at different heights. The equipment should also be easy to put on and easy to adjust in case they feel too tight.
If you want flexible fall arrest equipment, check for features like flexible webbing. These features allow the equipment to alter according to the shape of your body.
5. Brand & vendor
For maximum safety, do not buy just any fall arrest equipment that you find. You should only trust the top brands. These brands usually have a proven record of manufacturing top quality equipment that will ensure you are safe when working at extreme heights.
You should also be careful to choose a vendor that can assist you in purchasing the correct equipment. Such vendors are likely to give you invaluable information that can help you to make informed decisions. When it comes to your job that could result in injury or death by wearing the wrong type of equipment, such help is invaluable.