Fall protection training: is it always essential? 

Guardrail

Very often, it is when we hear about a worker’s accident that we say we should have prevented this significant risk. Falls don’t only happen on construction sites, but they can also happen to workers who maintain or repair an object at height. It’s not necessary to fall from very high to be seriously injured and that is why fall protection training is always a good idea!

Why fall protection training?

In order to protect yourself or even protect your employees against falls from heights, one of the first reflexes, for example, will be to attach the body using a safety harness or a lifeline. However, despite the possibility of reducing the shock, the harness, like any other object of this kind, does not completely avoid the danger, because it does not remove the height and the risk of falling or bumping. The first reflex when working at height should then be to question the very way in which work at height is carried out.

By questioning, we are talking here about risk management specifically through prevention and reflection. The Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (ROHS) goes in the direction of wanting to eliminate the danger at the source. In the case of working at height, to prevent falls, the ROHS says you must try your best not to work at height, but obviously, sometimes it will be inevitable!

What you must know how to anticipate, is the use and maintenance of the equipment. The use and maintenance of overhead equipment must in fact be perfectly mastered by all users under all possible and imaginable conditions. In accordance with the prevention means hierarchy principle recommended by the OSFHSC, when eliminating the danger at the source is not possible, it must be controlled by collective means which limit the exposure and reduce the probability of an accident. In the case of risks at height, this involves training all users in fall risk prevention.

How to organize fall protection training?

The Regulation respecting occupational health and safety expressly states that each employer who makes his employees work at heights must appoint a competent person to the position of supervisor. This supervisor will then be considered to have all the skills, knowledge, training and experience necessary to carry out work at height monitoring.

The supervisor must:

  • Know the law and regulations on occupational health and safety applicable to your workplace;
  • Know the real or possible risks associated with your workplace and communicate them to workers in the form of one or more training courses. This training will help to prevent the risk of falls from height.

Freestanding guardrail to reduce training hours

In addition to allowing all workers at height to have access to fall protection training before they work at height, it is essential to install walkways, platforms or scaffolding which will provide them with a stable work surface. And this is not enough. For roofs, walkways or scaffolding to be completely safe, and in order to really eliminate the risk of falling, it is also necessary to provide these equipments with professional guardrails and warning lines.

By opting for guardrails, companies save more time and money, because their presence on the high areas eliminates the need for certain training such as PPE training. Guardrails also prevent any business from buying a multitude of harnesses for each worker at height. The specific training that can be eliminated from the program concerns wearing a harness to protect against.

Delta Prevention is a manufacturer of non-penetrating fall protection equipment for rooftop. With innovative materials and industry leading versatility, Delta Prevention’s VSS System is the safest and most durable collective fall protection system on the market. Visit our website at delta.egowebdesign.ca

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