Understanding Fall Protection and Statistics:
The Life-saving Impact of Safety Harnesses

Introduction

Workplace safety cannot be compromised. To prevent fall accidents and injuries, employers must have the best fall protection system and safety harness. However, different workplace settings come with different kinds of risks and challenges both for the employees and employers. Employer’s money and reputation is on the line while employee’s life is at stake. So workplace safety is a win-win situation for both parties. Any industrial work environment is home to different types of dangers. Any unforeseen event results in severe fatalities, injuries and even deaths. Fall accidents are common in construction or any other industrial site where hundreds of workers operate at a given time. So a good fall protection system and safety Harness are of paramount importance.

But among all the dangers present in any workplace setting, nothing comes closer to working from a height. Workers who operate from a height are more prone to fall accidents. If there is no proper fall protection system and safety harness, workers slip, collide or fall. Picture the image of a worker operating at a height. That worker may be anyone from a laborer, painter, electrician, plumber, welder etc. And working from a height for a longer time is a real challenge. The worker needs to balance his weight, carry the tools & meticulously perform the given task. And the worker will only be able to perform his task meticulously if he feels safe and protected. For this, a proper fall protection system should be in place. And the worker must be provided with a good quality fall protection system and safety harness that propels him to work with focus and keeps him protected as well. One such lifesaving equipment that keeps the workers operating at a height protected is a safety harness.

Let’s understand fall protection and its statistics as well as evaluate the impact of a safety harness.

What is Fall Protection?

You may have come across workers performing a task at a particular height. Seeing such workers may frighten us a bit and we may even wonder how they manage to do their jobs in such a risky environment. However, workers working at heights are covered by a series of safety measures and equipment. So fall protection is a set of safety measures and equipment meticulously designed to prevent or mitigate injuries resulting from falls at the workplace. Guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems, and safety harnesses are all part of fall protection equipment. The main purpose of these safety measures is to prevent any injuries and in some cases to reduce the impact of the fall. There are certain scenarios where a fall is unavoidable. In such a situation, the safety team is ready with measures & equipment that would eventually minimize the impact of the fall. When workers are protected with a fall protection system and safety harness, the impact of a fall is minimum, workers escape with minor injuries or no injuries at all.

So the safety of your workforce is in your hands. Understand the importance of fall protection and invest in the best fall protection equipment. Once you get the best protection equipment, hire the best safety team that can come up with a comprehensive safety plan and measures.

What are safety harnesses?

Safety harness is life-saving equipment. It’s the most useful fall protection equipment that ensures a worker’s safety when working at heights. When attached to a body, it empowers a worker to work without fearing for his life. With a safety harness in place, a worker is prevented from falling and directly hitting the ground. Instead, a safety harness gently lowers the worker, significantly reducing the impact of a fall.

Deaths & injuries resulting from falls are common at some workplaces. When working at heights workers need a comfortable and best quality safety harness. The comfort factor is particularly crucial, as any discomfort caused by wearing a safety harness may put the worker’s life in danger. So provide workers with the best fall protection system and safety harness.

There are various types of safety harnesses available, such as full-body harnesses, chest harnesses, and rescue harnesses etc. The safety officer must recommend the best safety harness depending upon the specific job and its requirements.

Types of Safety Harness

Full-Body Harnesses: These are the most widely used safety harness across different workplace settings. The main job of this safety harness is to equally distribute the force of the fall across shoulders, thighs and waist. They come with straps that can be wrapped around the body to ensure a snug fit. Full-body harnesses are ideal for construction, maintenance or other industries where workers operate at height.

Construction Harnesses: These are uniquely designed to mitigate the dangers present around construction sites. Construction workers or laborers or other employees operating on a construction site may immensely benefit after using these harnesses. Construction harnesses come with the following benefits:

  1. Tool Belt: Workers can easily carry things like hammers, screwdrivers, and other tools in the tool belt pockets, making their job more easy.

 2. Extra Padding: Extra padding means extra soft material added in certain parts of the safety harnesses to provide more comfort and increase the lifespan of the harness.

Climbing Harnesses: Climbing tall buildings, towers or mountains will never be possible without climbing harnesses. These come with elastic straps on the back of the harness. Some of these elastic straps are even detachable. A typical climbing harness comes with a waist loop and two leg loops. These loops create a perfect balance and add more comfort and adjustability.

Rescue harnesses: These are useful in rescuing people in emergency situations. There might be a casualty or an emergency situation, where rescue harnesses help in lifting and rescuing people. These harnesses have special features, like spots to attach rescue tools and handles built in for easy extraction.

Other types of safety harnesses: Depending upon your workplace setting, you can get tailor made safety harnesses that suit your unique requirements. Fire-resistant, corrosion resistant, water resistant, chemical resistant etc are other types of safety harnesses available in the market.

Vital Features of a Quality Safety Harness

There are several vital features of a quality safety harness that an employer and his safety team must consider before buying. A good quality safety harness must be comfortable. Comfort factor should be the top priority when buying a safety harness. Any discomfort while wearing a safety harness may distract the worker and result in a fall or an accident. Secondly, a safety harness must be compatible with the weight of the worker. Compatibility ensures proper fit and adjustability. So go for light-weight but compatible safety harnesses. Also make sure to buy a safety harness with extra buckles, extra padding,  extra attachment points and small pockets to carry tools and other equipment. However, the following factors are crucial to consider in a fall protection system and safety harness. 

 

  1. Durable
  2. Comfortable 
  3. Proper fit and adjustment 
  4. Light weight 
  5. Compliance with safety standards set by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
  6. Weather resistant 
  7. Fire resistant 
  8. Water resistant 

Fall protection and Statistics

Accidents & Injuries due to fall are common in any industrial workplace. Despite the safety measures and equipment, incidents of workplace falls haven’t decreased. The statistics aren’t alarming but are certainly a cause for concern. Fall accidents must come down drastically and only the best fall protection system and safety harness, good quality safety equipment can ensure the highest amount of workplace safety. 

Fall Protection statistics 

  1. Fatalities in the construction industry account for 36.4% of all fatalities.
  2. In 2020, the construction industry accounted for 46.1% of all fatal falls, trips, and slips.
  3. According to the annual report of the Central Statistical Office for 2020, in Poland there were a total of 4227 accidents involving workers falling from a height that year, of which 30 led to serious injury, and 31 to death
  4. Worker deaths in America are down—on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2020. Worker injuries and illnesses are down—from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.7 per 100 in 2020.
  5. Strikes from moving objects account for 11.1% of fatal injuries.

Conclusion

Safety harness is lifesaving equipment and an important part of the fall protection system. A proper fall protection system and safety harness, safety equipment mitigates any fall related accidents. There are a variety of safety harnesses available in the market. For example, full-body harness, construction harness, climbing harness, rescue harness, etc. Go for a safety harness that best suits your working environment. You can also opt for tailor made safety harnesses by providing the dealer your specific needs and requirements. A good quality safety harness ensures proper workplace safety.
So never compromise on the quality and always invest in good quality safety harnesses that are durable, comfortable and light-weight. The decrease in fall related accidents proves that a safety harness is a reliable safety equipment, useful for keeping the workers safe in different working environments.

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