The Durable Difference: Fall Protection

November 22, 2017

Every day our employees work from hair-raising heights.

Durable Slate minimizes that danger through proper training in the classroom and in-the-field safety inspections. Because of fall protection gear, employee injuries have been greatly reduced.

According to OSHA guidelines in construction, fall protection is necessary whenever an employee is working more than 6 feet off the ground.

“Statistically, a vast majority of injuries/fatalities occur within 6-12 feet,” Safety Director Joe Redd said. “One major factor is that within that range, employees are comfortable and not aware of the danger.”

Durable Standard Fall Protection Equipment:

  • Harness
  • 3-foot lanyard (attaches to back of harness)
  • 50-foot rope (including a rope grab)
  • Anchor bracket (connects the rope to the structure)
  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves (when applicable)

If properly used, each piece of equipment can minimize the injury from a fall. While wearing the harness, employees should make sure the 3-foot lanyard connects to the harness in the back. Then, the lanyard should hook into the rope, which is connected to an anchor bracket on the roof. From the harness to the anchor bracket, there should be no more than 6 feet of slack within the system.

The leading cause of all deaths in construction is falls, according to OSHA. In 2015, 39% of the 937 fatalities, or 364 deaths, were due to falls. Also, 10%, or 90 deaths were the result of being struck by an object (emphasizing the need for a hard hat).

Other Types of Fall Protection

  • Self-retractable devices – can stop a person in a matter of minutes – usually within 2 feet
    • Effective for as low as 6 feet
  • Guardrails – built around a flat roof or scaffold
    • Need to withstand 200 pounds of force outward and downward
  • Safety line and monitor (designated employee) – it’s a warning system on flat roofs
    • Typically used when other fall protection methods are not feasible

“Through proper guidelines and rigorous training, we’ve been able to keep our employees safe and do great work,” Redd said.

Joe Redd serves as the safety director for The Durable Slate Company in Columbus. He has been with the company for 13 years and spent the last three years improving safety.