The mission of the Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) Fall Protection Council is to make a positive difference throughout the industry for both companies and the employees of those companies in their understanding, education and application of working at height issues.
Using research, guidelines, standards and regulations to recommend the best practices possible for the safety and well being of SAIA members and non-members alike.
Work jointly with aerial lift manufacturers and fall protection manufacturers to come to a conclusive and definitive answer as to exactly what type of connecting device is best used in an aerial work platform.
Continue to educate the members of the SAIA and the industry in general on the most up to date working at heights practices and regulations.
Continue to develop and document standard operating procedures for different working at height applications/scenarios.
WHAT IS FALL PROTECTION?
There are several ways to protect workers that are working at heights. All too often personal fall arrest systems are automatically chosen, however the best way to identifying the proper protection is following the hierarchy of fall protection.
Eliminate the Hazard
Eliminating the fall hazard or preventing exposure to a fall hazard is the most effective control measure. Preventing exposure may include modifying structure, isolating the worker from the hazard, changing a process, substituting equipment, or using work procedures organized in such a manner that the worker is not exposed to the fall hazard.
Passive Fall Protection
Passive fall protection methods are generally considered a higher level of protection than active systems since there is little or no reliance on the worker. Examples of passive protection include guardrails, which provide a physical barrier between the worker and the fall hazard, covers over holes which provide a load bearing barrier, scaffolds and working platforms with guardrails or barrier protection.
Fall Restraint Systems
Fall restraint systems, involve the use of equipment assembled in such a manner that the worker cannot fall. Restraint systems are characterized by the worker remaining on the same surface they were working on if a fall should occur. Restraint systems do not allow a worker to free fall, therefore restraint systems do not generate the same amount of energy as fall arrest systems, reducing the risk of injury.
Active Fall Protection System
Personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) involve the use of personal fall protection equipment assembled in such a manner that an authorized person can fall. Fall arrest systems are characterized by the worker free falling some distance and the fall being arrested by the fall protection equipment. Fall arrest systems create additional concerns regarding the amount of force that the worker’s body will experience during the event, contacting structure and requiring rescuing the worker after the fall has been arrested.
No matter what systems are chosen, detailed education should be given to the worker ensuring that employees know how to properly inspect, use, and store the equipment. If a personal fall arrest system is chosen, education on proper fit is key in protecting the worker from further injury.
Downloads & Tools
Properly Wearing a Body Harness Video – This video demonstrates the proper way to put on and fully adjust a full body harness
Z359 Committee Bulletin
Harness Inspection Log
Lanyard Inspection Log
SRL Inspection Log
ANSI Z359.14-21 Inspection Graph