Fall Protection for construction jobs and other tasks on the job site
Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS)
A PFAS is a tool that all workers should have when doing work at any height. This includes construction workers, roofers, painters, and other trades that work at elevated heights.
When it is working properly, a PFAS is your first lifeline of protection from injury from falls. However, a breakdown in any one component of a PFAS could spell disaster. Because of this, always follow the manufacture’s instructions on how to properly set up a Personal Fall Arrest System.
A PFAS includes 3 major components:
- An anchorage that the components of the PFAS are attached to
- A full-body harness worn by the worker
- A connector such as a lanyard of lifeline that connects to the anchorage.
Other components of a fall arrest system:
A horizontal lifeline, when used in tandem with a PFAS, is another great way of adding an extra layer of protection. Horizontal lifelines must be designed to accommodate a safety factor of two – twice the impact load.
Vertical lifelines and rope grabs are used with each other. Rope grabs are another means of fall protection between a worker wearing a full-body harness and an anchor point. You can use rope grabs on roofs, climbing ladders, and other construction activity when the worker is on an elevated surface.
Another great option for fall protection is to install temporary guardrails on any location where falls can happen. These are commonly installed on unfinished stairs, balconies, and on roof perimeter. The safest temporary guardrails are made of steel and conform to OSHA standard 29 CFR 1926.502(b).
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a qualified person, as defined by 29 CFR 1926.32(m), for proper temporary guardrail installation. This person could be the owner, the supervisor, or any other worker who has extensive knowledge, training and experience with fall protection.