The installation of a well designed and compliant hand railing system is one of the safest ways to protect workers from the dangers of falling from heights. The Work Health & Safety Act 2011 states that when designing a system to protect against falls from heights the PCBU must refer to the hierarchy of control. Hand railing is a higher control than the use of an anchor point system which relies heavily upon the correct use of the system. We have seen many well designed anchor point systems not being used correctly or at times not being used at all due to the extra time it takes to complete a job while using a fall arrest system. That is why where possible we recommend the installation of a permanent hand railing system.
We recommend the Sentry Guardrail System from SAYFA. This system complies with AS1657 and can be installed on almost any surface. It is a modular system which allows for easy design for any area.
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An example of a well thought out and designed fall prevention system which complies with the hierarchy of control would be as follows;
“Workers accessing an air conditioning plant from a hatch. The distance to the plant is 50m. The most direct route takes workers past 3 fall zones and the plant is situated 1.5m from the edge of the roof. We would recommend a design which incorporated a walkway system which either avoids all fall zones or combines with a hand rail to protect the fall zone. Once at the plant we would install a hand railing system along the edge of the roof which protects the workers while accessing the plant. The walkway gives a set path of access which is not only safe but also protects the roof from damage. Walkway allows access to the plant faster while reducing the risk of ankle injuries to workers. Part of the buildings site induction will now state that workers are not to leave the walkway at any time.“