Fall Prevention Systems
In the hierarchy of control when working at height , fall prevention is the highest form of protection.
Fall prevention involves removing the risk to the worker by creating a barrier between them and the fall hazard.
When installed, these systems separate the worker from the fall edge and virtually eliminate the risk of a fall from height.
Another advantage of these systems is that they normally require very little maintenance.
If you choose systems manufactured from strong durable materials such aluminium they can remain on the roof for years with minimal upkeep required to ensure their compliance and functionality.
A primary reason that fall prevention is the preferred method of fall protection is because it requires the least amount of operator competence. These systems are easy to use which means that with minimal training, all workers and visitors to your premises are adequately protected. High level training and qualifications are not required for your fall prevention system to be effective.
Additionally, personnel using fall prevention systems generally do not require PPE equipment.
Do You Really Need Fall Protection?
At SAYFA, as height safety equipment designers, manufacturers and specialists we've heard all the excuses. Below are some common misconceptions that Building Owners/Managers have when choosing to either have no height safety and fall protection systems at all installed on their buildings, or installing inferior systems that offer inadequate and in some cases simply dangerous protection.
"We hardly go up on the roof."
The old adage out of sight and out of mind is quite often the way height safety is regarded. If your roof tops are being accessed EVER, it is still necessary for you to provide adequate protection for personnel. Ensuring the safety of your workers in all aspects of their workplace, particularly when working at height, is an essential part of your Duty of Care.
Workplace Manslaughter Laws are in force throughout Australia and there have already been several prosecutions recorded as a result of a fall from height fatality when it has been proven that the PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) did not have the appropriate processes and systems in place.
We only use sub-contractors, it's their responsibility"
This misconception is very common. Many Building Owners/Managers still believe that once they employ a subcontractor to perform any work on their building that it is the contactor's responsibility to ensure his and his worker's safety.
Whilst this is true, as a Building Owner/Manager / PCBU it is also your responsibility to ensure as "reasonably practicable" the health and safety of any workers (employees and/or subcontractors) carrying out activities on your building. This includes when they are working at height.
"We'll get the cheapest system we can, they're all the same aren't they?"
Cost saving can be very dangerous when it comes to height safety systems.
We have seen many instances where Building Owners/Managers have been provided with inadequate and incorrectly installed systems. Fall prevention systems require careful design and installation by qualified and experienced personnel. If incorrect systems are installed and workplace inspections show that they need to be upgraded it can be very costly to replace them, not to mention the disruption this can cause. However, even worse is that bad installs and the wrong systems may in some circumstances put lives at risk.
An effective fall prevention system requires good installation, a sound structure and importantly must be suitable for the application.
While it can be tempting to try to save money, it's important to take heed of the warning signs particularly if a company's quote comes in considerably lower than a competitor's one. They may be reducing the scope down and ultimately not giving you the systems that you need to remain compliant.
As with many things in life, spending more money initially for top quality products and services can actually work out cheaper in the long term and throughout the lifetime ownership of your fall prevention systems.
SAYFA Fall Prevention Products & Solutions
As industry leaders in fall prevention, Melbourne-based SAYFA offer tailored fall prevention systems which include products like guardrails, skylight protectors, safety gates, pallet loading gates and warning signs. SAYFA will also inspect your worksite to ensure it is compliant, assessing factors such as ensuring guardrails and walkways are stable, anchorages are secure and skylights are adequately protected.