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A brief presentation on how and when to use fall arrest system, how to don full body harness, when to use shock absorber and what to do if someone falls while wearing harness and lanyard to rescue them. Dr. Wessam Atif.
About the use of fall arrest system &safety harness while working at heights DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 1
Learning outcomeBy the end of the presentation U should be able to:• Identify the needs to use the fall arrest system & safety harness & the safe distance to start using it• Identify different parts of the harness, lanyard & anchorage points• Inspect the fall arrest system prior to each use & report any defects• Properly put on (don) the safety harness & safely adjust it to your body• Identify proper anchorage points• Develop an emergency response & rescue plan in case a worker falls while using their fall arrest system DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 2
The need to use safety harness while working at heights• Falling from a height is considered one of the most common causes of injuries & fatalities at work, many injuries occurred even when falling from height of less than one meter• In some tasks (like constructing a scaffold) we can not really prevent falls physically, but we can arrest the fall & minimize the free fall distance• We should know that using a fall arrest system is the last line of defense after we consider all of the following as priorities:1. Collective fall prevention systems e.g. guard rails, safety nets & air bags/pillows, etc.2. Personal fall prevention e.g. restriction system; a lanyard with no shock absorber connected to an anchorage point restricting the distance a worker can go, hence preventing him from reaching the edge DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 3
When do we start using safety harness ?• Any high working platform from which a person can fall & sustain injury due to to absence of collective fall prevention (what is this?)• If working at any height of 180 cm or more, a safety harness with a restricting lanyard (no shock absorber) must be used to prevent the worker from reaching the edge (as shown in the ﬁgure)• We may start using the fall arrest system (to minimize the free fall distance) made up of a safety harness and a lanyard with a shock absorber only at 6 meters height or more (or at the appropriate calculated safe distance)• Usually we only allow scaffolders to use the fall arrest system and lanyards with shock absorber, simply because they have no other collective fall prevention DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 4
Different parts of safety harness & lanyards D - ring Chest straps Shock absorber Self-locking snap hook Single lanyard Back straps Twin lanyardLeg straps Lanyards with shock absorbers (un-deployed) DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 5
How to put on (don) a safety harness1. Un-strap & un-tie all parts of 2. Start passing your arm through the harness & Hold it from the harness strap same as what the D-ring, as shown U do if you’re wearing a jacket Before using a safety harness, make sure U inspect it thoroughly & not to use it in case of any abrasion or defect & report it to the supervisor immediately DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 6
How to put on (don) a safety harness – contd.3. Now pass your other arm through 4. Now fasten the leg straps, the other strap, same like what U as shown in the image do when wearing a jacket DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 7
How to put on (don) a safety harness – contd. 6. One important step is the adjust leg straps5. Fasten the chest strap, tight enough to only pass 2 fingers, as as shown in the image shown in image, this is to avoid sustaining serious injuries to the pelvis in case of a fall DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 8
Proper anchorage points• Anchorage points must be selected based on scientiﬁc approaches, be tested & we make sure it can take at least 2500 Kg without failing in case of a fall• Best Anchorage point should be located above the head level• If it’s not possible, we try to anchor at waist level• Worst case scenario, we anchor at feet level or below body level DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 9
Proper anchorage points – contd. • Based on the fall distance calculation: worker’s body length + lanyard length + length of the deployed shock absorber, it’s best to anchor above the head level• Lanyards with shock absorber should only be used when working at a height of 8 meters or more, or based on the fall distance calculation done for each job - Safety harness & lanyards are NOT to be used unless workers receive proper documented training authorized by management - DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 10
Rescue plan & first aid in case of a fall while using the safety harness• Never work alone, always have a buddy with U in case U need help• If a worker falls while wearing a safety harness with shock absorbing lanyard, & is unconscious, he MUST be rescued within an average of 18 minutes• If not rescued within such a short time, he might sustain fatal health effects due to the suspension trauma• Make sure the unconscious suspended victim has no other injuries in the head or back due to the pendulum effect• If the victim is conscious & alert ask him to keep moving his legs and body as if they were biking, this prevents blood building up & becoming stagnant in lower limbs DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 11
Rescue plan & first aid in case of a fall while using the safety harness• Victim should be lowered down with gravity, usually by the help of cranes, & in coordination with rescue team & crane operators, or according to the site speciﬁc rescue plan• Victim must be kept in semi – sitting position (not ﬂat) with knees bent for at least 30 to 45 minutes• Check the regular airway, pulse, breathing, & bleeding or any other possible injuries especially head & back• Medics to provide Oxygen & the victim to be transferred to hospital for a thorough medical check anyway & better kept in semi sitting position till he reaches the hospital DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 12
Resources• http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/harness.htm• Harness suspension: review & evaluation of existing information, by: Paul Seddon 2002• NASC SG4:05 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding & False work 2005 DR.WESSAM ATIF © 2010 13