Overhead Fall Protection System: Why Fall Arrest Systems Aren’t Always Enough

In the realm of workplace safety, especially in environments characterised by elevated work scenarios, fall arrest systems are a critical tool, when there is no alternative but to work closely to a fall hazard. These systems are designed to halt falls, thereby minimising the risk of injury.

Overhead rigid rail systems offer enhanced security, reducing fall distances and removing the risk of swing falls. They also provide greater mobility to workers, improving efficiency.

Despite these benefits of fall arrest rail systems, it is crucial to remember that preventing falls in the first place remains the ultimate goal in ensuring workplace safety. Simply employing a fall arrest system may not suffice in all circumstances.

This guide aims to shed light on the limitations of these systems and underscore the significance of overhead rigid rail systems.

Fall Arrest Systems, offer vital safety features where fall hazards cannot be avoided

What Are Fall Arrest Systems?

Fall Arrest Systems are safety measures implemented to prevent or minimise the harm caused by falls, primarily in high-risk work environments such as maintenance facilities, manufacturing plants and industrial settings, where exposure to fall hazards cannot be avoided.

These systems, which are typically comprised of body harnesses, lanyards, carabiners, and anchorage points, operate by stopping a fall in progress, thus mitigating the impact on the worker.

A crucial subtype of Fall Arrest Systems is the overhead fall protection rigid rail system. This particular configuration, positioned directly above the worker, is designed to reduce the free fall distance and the subsequent arresting force exerted on the body.

The system’s rigidity ensures the prevention of deflection, providing enhanced safety and reliability in the event of a fall.

Kee Track

Kee Track is an advanced overhead fall protection system specifically engineered to ensure safety in high-risk work environments. It is a versatile and robust solution that can be effectively utilised across a broad range of sectors.

Features of Kee Track

The system offers several distinctive features:

  • Flexible Design: Kee Track is designed to cater to a variety of structural configurations. Its flexible design allows easy installation on roofs with different shapes and contours.
  • High-quality materials: Kee Track is made from galvanised steel or high-grade aluminium, which ensure longevity and durability even under the harshest conditions.
  • User-friendly: Kee Track is designed with the end-user in mind. Its intuitive design and ease of use make it highly effective in emergency situations.

Benefits of Kee Track

The benefits of employing Kee Track in your workplace include:

  • Improved Worker Safety: Kee Track significantly reduces the risk of serious injuries in the event of a fall.
  • Compliance with Standards: Kee Track is compliant with all relevant safety standards and regulations, providing peace of mind for businesses.
  • Cost-Effective: Kee Track is a long-term investment that saves costs associated with potential injuries, litigation, and downtime.

Thereby, Kee Track by Harcon provides an effective solution for businesses seeking to enhance workplace safety and comply with safety regulations.

Kee track height safety give maximum freedom

When Fall Arrest Systems Are Not Enough

Choosing the right overhead fall protection system is instrumental in ensuring the safety and security of workers in hazardous environments. While Fall Arrest Systems are an integral part of safety protocols, they are not always enough. It’s essential to remember that overhead fall arrest system is reactive – it comes into action once a fall has initiated.

Preferably, a more proactive approach should be taken to prevent falls in the first place. This brings the concept of Fall Restraint Systems to the fore. Fall Restraint Systems, as opposed to Fall Arrest Systems, are designed to prevent a fall from occurring. They keep the worker a safe distance away from any fall hazard by restricting the range of movement.

These systems involve the use of a body harness or body belt, along with a lanyard of a specific length that physically prevents the worker from reaching a fall risk area. The selection of the appropriate lanyard length is vital in ensuring the effectiveness of these systems.

Further to these, other specific solutions such as guardrails, safety nets, and safety monitoring systems can also be employed as primary fall protection measures. These fall protection solutions provide a physical barrier or an early warning system to prevent falls.

By prioritising fall restraint and employing proactive safety measures before resorting to fall arrest systems, employers can better ensure worker safety, reduce potential injuries, and foster a safer working environment.

overhead fall arrest track system

The Hierarchy of Controls

The Hierarchy of Controls is a widely revered approach in occupational safety, wherein the methods of control are ranked in order of their effectiveness in reducing or eliminating hazards.

When applied to working at height, the key steps in the hierarchy, in order of decreasing effectiveness, are:

  1. Elimination: Completely remove the hazard, such as the need to work at height. This is the most effective method but is often the most difficult to achieve.
  2. Substitution: Substitute or replace the hazard. In the context of work at heights, this could be using ground-level equipment to eliminate the need for a worker to ascend.
  3. Engineering Controls: This involves modifying physical structures or systems to reduce or eliminate the hazard. Overhead rigid rail systems fall into this category. By installing these, the possibility of a free fall is greatly reduced.
  4. Administrative Controls: These involve changes to the way people work. It can include training, safe work procedures, and installation of warning signs.
  5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): These are the last line of defence and should only be used when other controls are not feasible or do not completely control the hazard.

In the context of overhead fall protection rigid rail systems, they are considered engineering controls and are often used in conjunction with administrative controls and PPE to create a more comprehensive fall protection plan. The ideal approach to safety at height is a harmonised application of the Hierarchy of Controls, which ensures that multiple safety measures are in place to prevent falls and protect workers.

overhead fall arrest system

Complementing Fall Arrest Systems with Other Safety Measures

While fall arrest systems like Kee Track are vital personal fall protection, they serve as a reactive measure once a fall has initiated. To create a comprehensive fall safety protocol, it’s essential to implement additional proactive measures.

Safety Training

Training employees about the risks and safe practices is crucial. This administrative control measure ensures that workers are knowledgeable about potential hazards and understand how to use fall protection equipment correctly.

Regular Equipment Inspection

Regular inspection and maintenance of all safety equipment, including Fall Arrest Systems, is crucial to ensure they’re in optimal working condition. This prevents equipment failure, reducing the risk of incident occurrence.

Use of Guardrails

Guardrails, such as Kee Guard, provide a physical barrier that prevents workers from reaching a fall risk area. They can be used around roof edges, open sides, or other areas with a fall risk.

By combining these methods with Fall Arrest Systems like Kee Track, a more robust and thorough safety protocol can be established, minimising the risk of falls and enhancing overall workplace safety

Comprehensive Fall Protection

Optimising workplace safety, particularly in environments with elevated risks, requires a comprehensive approach.

While Fall Arrest Systems like Kee Track serve as an essential part of this safety equation, it is clear that they work best when integrated with other proactive measures such as training, regular inspection, safety signage, and the use of additional equipment like guardrails and safety nets.

Every component contributes to the safety line system creating a robust and effective safety protocol that guards against falls and enhances overall workplace safety.

To learn more about how Kee Track can fit into your workplace safety plan and other proactive measures to mitigate fall risks, please contact Harcon. As experts in safety solutions, we can provide tailored advice to meet your specific needs and ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible.

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