Understanding Anchor Selection and Why It Matters

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EXCERPT

“When designing, installing or using height safety equipment it is important that you have a basic understanding of the terminology that is often referred to within the industry. Guidelines for the application of fall protection systems are based on the Hierarchy of Control for Working at Heights which is explored in more depth later within this paper.

Fall Prevention

According to the hierarchy of control for working at height, this is the highest form of protection. This removes the risk of the worker falling by providing a barrier between them and the fall hazard. Guardrails and skylight protectors are examples of the types of equipment that fall into this category. This method requires the least amount of operator competence for working at
heights.

Fall Restraint

This type of system restricts the movement of the worker in reaching the fall edge. The lanyard is typically a fi xed length that does not extend past the fall edge and it effectively acts like a leash preventing a fall arrest situation from occurring. This method is dependent on correct operator use, especially if an adjustable length lanyard is being used. User competency and system training
are essential when using this type of equipment. It is important that anchorages and support structures are fall arrest rated (15kN), even if the system is used as a restraint system.”

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