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Types of Falls in The Workplace

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When considering the risk of falling into hazards in any work environment that involves height, it is important to understand the different types of falls that a worker can experience when performing their day-to-day tasks. However, falls can definitely be minimized, and sometimes, aborted if the service of some fall protection companies like Nouvelle Hauteur can be employed.

Falls in the workplace can be categorized into three categories: falling to one level, falling to a lower level and swing falls. In this article, we will examine these three types of falls and how to understand the fall hazards of the workplace in order to choose the right fall protection system.

#1: Falls on One Level

Falls that occurs when a worker remains at one level of work are classified as “slippers and falls” or sometimes “slippers and trips.” Trips is the result of uneven footways, have curved surfaces or are encroached by equipment or fixtures. Slips may also be caused by materials covering the carriageway, such as snow or grease. Ballet footwear or treads that do not fit on a cart can cause slipping. In some work environments, a landing drop and fall protection solution can be a simple security management tool, such as maintaining a pedestrian walkway or specifying the footwear threads. However, in applications where security management controls are inadequate, the risk of crashes can be solved by negative fall protection systems such as handrails, closed tracks or scales.

#2: Falls on A Lower Level

Most fatalities and serious fracture injuries are as a result of falls from high to low. Examples of downfall on the lowest level include workers falling from mezzanine or the highest car. Labor and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulations require employers to provide protection against falls for workers in any general industrial environment in which a worker can fall to four or more levels at a lower level. OSHA also requires active fall protection systems to lower zero acceleration at a distance of 3.5 meters (see OSHA 1915159). An active protection system, such as a base installed on a raised connection position with the company, is probably the best option for areas where workers are seriously injured or killed due to falls from height.

#3: Swing Falls

Swing falls can be classified as a fall to a lower level, but these types of falls are unique. The swing fall occurs when the worker falls from an elevated platform when it is connected to the fall arrest system, and the location of a system’s attachment point is not directly over the worker’s head. Since the point of attachment is not overhead, the lanyard the worker uses creates an angle. During the free fall, this angle of lanyard makes the worker swing back against the point of attachment. This may not be a problem if it falls into the open space, but workers always work on the building, and contact with the body during the swing is inevitable.