The hierarchy of fall protection is a tool used to rank the most effective and safe methods of reducing the risk and consequences of a fall from heights.
Although there is often more than one solution to any problem, the most effective process starts with an analysis of the root cause and ends with corrective actions. Safeguarding work at height is no different.
Being too quick to implement even the most advanced fall protection solution, without first carefully identifying and evaluating the risks, hazards and the work performed at height, can often lead to even more issues than were originally present. The following steps are ranked in the order in which they should be considered.
Eliminate the Hazard
- Change procedures
- Redesign work process
- Relocate work area
- Design out the risk
- Not always feasible or cost effective
Guard the Hazard
- Permanent or temporary barriers such as guardrails and skylight protection
- Does not require user training
- Does not require user participation
- Systems such as lifeline systems and anchor points that prevent the worker from reaching the hazard
- Eliminates the possibility of a fall by restricting movement or body positioning
- May prevent a worker from completing a task
Fall Arrest System
- Engineered systems such as rigid rail to arrest a fall within acceptable forces and distance
- A fall is still possible, but a worker is prevented from contacting the ground or objects below.
- Injuries can still be sustained
- Requires worker training and competency
- A comprehensive rescue plan is needed
- Work practices, procedures, signage or a system such as warning line that brings awareness to the hazard
- Hazard is still present and unguarded
Need Additional Help?
Whether your project is a self-installation, supervised installation, or you require turnkey services, High Engineering Fall Protection specialists are standing by to assist you. Get started by requesting a quote or contact us at (403) 287 0475.