When working at heights within a building or a shed, often it is difficult to put in safety measures to prevent a fall. Where it is not possible to use an elevated platform or put in place a guard railing system, often the best solution is an overhead fall arrest system.
There are three types of systems that can be installed:
- Single attachment anchor points
- Horizontal cable system
- Fixed solid rail system
Which one you need will depend upon what works are being conducted and what level of movement the workers will require. In general attachment to each system will be via an inertia reel, also known as a fall arrest block. The inertia reel allows the worker to move freely up and down and within a 30degree arc, the cable extending and retracting with the worker as they move. If a fall was to occur the inertia reel will lock off within 600mm.
It must be noted that when considering an overhead system as a fall arrest control measure, one of the first considerations must be what height the worker will be from the ground. It is vital to consider what the fall distance will be and if it is sufficient for the fall to be arrested prior to the worker coming in contact with the ground. For further information on this please contact us
SINGLE ATTACHMENT ANCHOR POINT
A single attachment point is a very cost effective way to be attached from overhead when the works are limited to one location and the worker does not need to move around. The maximum movement allowed is within a 30degree arc taken from the attachment point to the feet of the worker. There are a few options available for this type of system. They include:
- Fixed 16mm eyelet
- Beam trolley
- Beam anchor
Which one to choose will depend upon the location and application.
HORIZONTAL CABLE SYSTEM
When workers need to move around, an overhead horizontal cable system can be a great option. The cable system allows the workers to move in a straight line directly under the cable in both directions and out to each side within a 30degree arc. One of the important factors to take into consideration with a cable system is the deflection that will occur during a fall. The vertical deflection length is made up of the following
- How much the horizontal cable will deflect from the force of the fall
- Plus the amount of cable that will be released from the inertia reel as it slows and arrests the fall
- Plus the persons height
- Plus 1000mm safe clearance
This is the distance of clear space that should be between the workers feet and the ground. If this distance cannot be maintained, it must be noted that there is the possibility that in the event of a fall the worker may hit the ground. For further information on this please contact us
FIXED SOLID RAIL SYSTEM
A fixed solid rail system is a great option when maximum movement is required but due to the height of the building or distance that the worker will be from the ground, the length of deflection needs to be limited. For example when working on the wings of some smaller air craft where the vertical height from the ground is only 2m.
Regardless of what type of system you choose, as they are all a fall arrest systems, you must have a rescue plan. The rescue plan must:
- Be site specific
- Fit for purpose
- Tried and proven to be successful
- Able to be implemented immediately
- Able to successfully complete the rescue in under 5 minutes
- Have at least one trained rescue person on stand by 100% of the time while workers are using the system
We are able to assist you with designing, documenting and the training of a rescue plan for your system.
For further information on our overhead fall arrest systems options please contact us