Rome 17.10.2022 – From the “arrest system” to the “detention system”, the topics covered by Inail in a video tutorial aimed at workers and companies. About 10% of deaths at work are caused by falls from height while over 4% of total accident reports, this is what emerged from the analysis relating to the data sample of 2017-2021 and beyond.
The most affected activities are construction, manufacturing and transport and warehousing , followed by trade, business support services and healthcare.
The most involved parts are ankle, spine, knee, wall and chest girdle.
“A useful tool for informing and training workers. Thanks to the 3D animation technique, in the first part of the video tutorial some work situations are reproduced at height, i.e. performed at more than two meters above a stable floor, elaborated taking into account laws, circulars, guidelines and specific technical standards. The aim is to illustrate the rules that are essential to respect for safety purposes, providing a useful tool for informing and training workers. For each of the proposed scenarios, the components of the most suitable personal protection system against falls are listed and described, which must be used in cases where, following the risk assessment, the intrinsic characteristics of the workplace, the work procedures of the company carrying out the activity and the adoption of collective protective equipment do not allow to reduce the specific risks to an acceptable level. “
Harnesses are third category PPE of great importance in many jobs at height. The device is the starting point for safety at height: in fact, the harness is the PPE dedicated to stopping the operator in the event of an accidental fall.
According to the regulatory aspect, harnesses fall under three European technical standards: EN 361 for harnesses designed to absorb the forces of a fall, EN 358 for positioning on work and EN 813 for belts with stringers. These standards define the minimum ergonomic and strength criteria. The distinction between the harnesses is then mainly due to the number and position of attachment points:
These devices comply with the technical standard EN 354 and EN 355 for the absorber part. By law they cannot be longer than 2 meters and are designed to stop a possible fall. There are different variants: such as adjustable or shortened, elastic, double and Y-shaped. When used in fall arrest this device stretches considerably in order to dissipate energy therefore it is essential to evaluate the free space of fall when used;
Adjustable guided device. According to EN 353-2 this device must be used exclusively in restraint as it is not able to dissipate the energy of a possible fall with even fatal consequences for the operator. However, some manufacturers integrate such a device with an energy dissipation system so that it can also be used in fall arrest. As the name suggests, this device is adjustable and consists of a rope of various lengths (up to 20 meters in the standard configuration) and a slider that, if not operated, remains locked in the position imposed by the worker.
Placement and holding cord. Even these devices are not certified to stop falls from height, in any variant, and are used for positioning on the job or in all those situations in which the operator must remain in a stable position with both hands free (eg on a MEWP, a truss or on a plane with an impeded fall). The production of these is bound by the EN 358 standard and have various configurations, from the simplest with buckle to those with an adjustable self-locking slider.
Also called fall arrest systems with retractable devices, they are fall arrest PPE designed and used to stop the fall, not to prevent it. They consist of 3 main parts:
Spider fall protection devices are designed to guarantee the highest standards of comfort and freedom of movement for operators.
PPE for work at height: what they are and what they are used for