Working at height brings obvious dangers with it. From lifting and moving heavy loads across sites, to working on fragile surfaces or vertical surfaces. Safety equipment such as a body harness or a lifeline can provide a certain level of fall protection. But if there is an ongoing danger of a fall from height which cannot be avoided, then you need more protection. Here are 3 reasons for fall safety bags and why your working environment might need them.
Table of contents:
Fall Hazard Statistics
142 workers were fatally injured in Britain in the year 2020-2021 according to the Health and Safety Executive. The most fatalities coming from the construction industry. And the current biggest cause of fatal injury is working at height. In total, 35 workers were killed by falls from height. Therefore, it is essential that the correct fall protection equipment is in place for everyone who works at height.
Some jobs are more dangerous than others and require more safety protection. For example, construction site workers face regular exposure to falls from height due to the fragile nature of some sites and working on tall structures.
Meanwhile, there are other workers who wash windows on high rise buildings, which requires specialist equipment for vertical working.
Fall Safety: Reasons For Fall Safety Bags
Essentially, fall safety and protection is about the use of controls and equipment to protect workers from falling. A safety bag is to prevent serious injury in the event that someone does actually fall.
Generally speaking, there are three main categories of fall protection. The environment you work in and your safety plan will have a bearing on what safety equipment you use.
The three main categories for fall protection are fall elimination, fall prevention and fall arrest.
To start with, an employer or site manager must try to eliminate the fall hazard. So they will assess the risks of the working area and change things around to avoid the fall hazard completely. For example, they might get someone to erect scaffolding, or build a safety zone so people can’t get near it. But if this is not possible, the next step is fall prevention.
Typically, it’s not possible to avoid every fall hazard, but this depends on your working environment. For example, if you’re working on a construction site, not everyone can avoid working at height.
In order to prevent a fall from happening, you can use different types of fall prevention equipment. Such as a body harness or restraint system. A body harness is a harness with an anchorage point which allows the user to work at height, but attaches them to their anchor point should they slip or fall.
Along with this, you might want to use a lifeline, which is a length of webbing or wire rope which attaches between your body harness and anchor point. This provides temporary vertical support when working at height.
A restraint system prevents a worker from reaching the fall hazard in the first place. So you might be working near the edge of a building, but the safety equipment you are wearing prevents you from falling over.
Finally, even with all this in place, there could still be a risk of falling from height. If you cannot prevent the possibility of this happening, then you need a fall arrest system. Fall arrest systems are used alongside other fall protection equipment. You might use a fall safety bag or a fall safety net. The aim is to capture a person who is already falling, to minimise the impact of the fall and prevent serious injury or death.
3 Reasons For Fall Safety Bags
For the purpose of this article, the focus is on fall safety bags in particular. These are bags which you can inflate to a specific size in order to absorb the impact of a falling person. There are 3 main reasons to choose a fall safety bag.
- The obvious reason is that the bags help to prevent serious injury or death. By having them in place, personnel can feel more confident while working that the correct safety equipment is on site.
- Even if you are pushed for space, the bags are lightweight and easy to move, which means you can fit them almost anywhere. A safety bag unit from Fall-Pac weighs just 6-10kg and can offer complete protection from falls when working at 2.7 metres. Or 3.4 metres when doubled up.
- A Fall-Pac unit can be set up and ready to use within minutes. It can also be delivered within 48 hours. Hence you are not delaying time spent on getting the job done, you are offering further safety protection for your workers quickly and efficiently.
What Is A Fall Safety Bag Made From
A Fall -Pac unit safety bag is made from a high quality woven polypropylene outer casing with a protective coating. This makes it ideal for any type of environment or weather conditions, because of its durable and tough material.
Inside the safety bag, there is specialist polystyrene to provide a reliably soft landing should a worker fall from height. Therefore giving you the peace of mind that you have a fall arrest system in place that provides a soft landing while reducing the impact of the fall.
Conclusion: Reasons For Fall Safety Bags
Finally, with fall arrest equipment in place such as a Fall-Pac unit, you will need a rescue plan as part of the process. A rescue plan gives you a pre planned procedure to remove a person safely from the safety bag, should they fall. It’s essential to avoid any risk or danger to other workers while safely removing the person from the bag.
In summary, there are 3 reasons for fall safety bags in this article, but there are many more important reasons for using the correct fall protection equipment, whatever industry you work in.