System design and engineering of fall protection and fall arrest systems.
There are many parameters to be understood when designing a fall protection system. These can be broken down into elements such as:
The first most obvious question is ‘why do I need to work at height and what do I need to access?’ In addition to this you must firstly understand how you are going to access the system.
The designer should decide on the safest place of which to access the area. If for example the installation is a roof top safety system then the safest option would be through a roof access hatch or smoke vent. If this is not possible then ladder access to the side of the building which adds extra headache to the designer! If the ladder is over 2.5m then either a fall protection line or hoops need to be added (if the ladder is to be fixed to the building). If the access is to be via a portable ladder then one must consider the use of ladder tie bolts in which to secure the ladder in place. If none of this is possible then the last route of access is a MEWP (mobile elevated working platform). Once access has been decided then the designer must look at what the system is required for. In general the roof top safety system will be for gutter cleaning, maintenance of roof plant or for general & basic roof inspection. The idea here is that a continuous cable will be installed around the perimeter of the building say 2.3m back from the roof edge with the end user being attached via a 1.8m lanyard thus providing a ‘restraint’ system refer to fall prevention fall arrest fall-restraint
A cable based system is considered the ‘last port of call’ regards fall protection as the safest option is a handrail as this provides a ‘collective fall protection’ method whereby the end user requires no end user training and is able to work freely and safely. The introduction of cable based fall protection systems were for areas where it simply is not possible either through space or planning restrictions for a handrail to be erected given that handrails have to be 1.1m in height and a cable based system will generally be only 500mm off of roof level.
It is worth noting that if you have a fall arrest system in place i.e. where the user can fall, is that you must have a minimum of 6.75m clearance when falling. This is broken down as the distance of lanyard from the system to the user, 2m free fall, lanyard tear out and the clearance required under the user after they have been arrested. If you have a fall arrest system in place then you must have a rescue procedure in place because once suspension trauma kicks in the user may only have between 6 – 12 minutes before there is risk of death due to the harness points putting too much pressure on the bodies circulation points that can lead to the build up of dangerous chemicals within the body!! Please see our PRD section for special ‘personal rescue device’ harness systems.
To be effective fall protection systems must be easy to use. “User friendly” designs allow workers to do their jobs with minimum interference. The design process can be carried out by use of a site visit or the issue of drawings whereby we can assess your access requirements and consult with you in order to develop the best fall protection solution for your requirements.
Our network of in-house structural engineers and designers are able to design each fall protection system to your specification of requirements based on your access needs. Our specifications include calculating pertinent factors such as dynamic load requirements, peak loading and structural attachment points. The combination of these factors results in a properly designed and engineered fall arrest system.
Fallarrest.coms’ experienced engineers and designers have designed a wide range of fall protection and fall arrest systems around the world including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Dublin Airport and Wembley Stadium to name just a few!! System designs have been carried out for sports stadiums, bridges, airports, power stations, telecommunication, towers, ladders and all manner of establishments!
We will always work with you to provide optimal & safe solutions in order to keep you and your work force safe!!
Fallarrest.com have over 25 years of experience within the industry and have access to installers and designers around the globe putting us in the best place possible to be able to assist and facilitate your requirements.
Please use the relevant contact links on our site for your query or enquiry or simply contact us here
Horizontal lifelines should be designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified person as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two. Do not take risks! Consult the professionals and don’t leave yourself exposed! Remember we are here to help so contact fallarrest.com here
Choosing the correct fall protection system:
All roofs will require safe access for the general maintenance, plant servicing or renewal, gutter cleaning and for basic general inspection and therefore it is important to consider safe access to the roof. There are several key design considerations to help you decide what you need to evaluation when designing a fall protection and fall arrest safety system for your building and which is best suited to minimise anticipated risk:
In the majority of cases unless specialist rope access is required (which is generally for window cleaners on high rise buildings) it would be best to assume that the people accessing your roof will have minimal experience in the use of fall protection systems. The majority of users will be the caretaker of the school, the manager of a commercial building, the FM manager of a waste incinerator and will require some form of training.
Fallarrest.com can offer training for all your requirements.
Efficiency As Well As Safety whilst carrying out your work at height
All fall protection systems should allow for continuous hands-free movement enabling the operative to be attached at all times. Once on the system you don’t want your operative to be able to disconnect as this has the potential to place them in immediate danger!
Safety For Any Roof
A range of fall protection system anchors are available to suit virtually all building structures and fabrics, whilst remaining unobtrusive to protect building aesthetics. Fallarrest.com can offer a variety of systems to suit your requirements from toggle fixed top fix posts, to handrails to non penetrative weighted systems.
How The Law Is Tightening Up Roof Safety
Construction (Design & Management) Regulations – CDM
‘It is the responsibility of the employer’ to ensure that any employee required to work at height must be suitably protected from any potential fall hazards. In the event of a fall the equipment used must be of sufficient strength to arrest a worker’s fall. HSE research shows that as many as one third of building designers are still unclear about their responsibilities under CDM.
Work at Height Regulations 2005
There is a duty placed on employers, the self employed and anyone who controls the work of others at height to provide a safe method of work. A place is ‘at height’ if a person could be injured falling from it even if it is at or below ground level therefore this includes for entering sewage drains, man holes etc.
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