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When working at heights, falling is your greatest enemy. So you need to avoid it! On this page we tell you everything about fall protection.
 

Employees work at heights in a number of places, including construction and installation sites, but also industry, shipping and even logistics. Usually, people tend to fall in an uncontrolled manner, without having any influence about where they land. And while one person may survive a fall of 6 meters, others may die from a 3 meter drop!

If no safety measures have been put in place yet, the Work Circumstances Law applies, which states that measures need to be taken at heights exceeding 2.5 meters. However, even with smaller heights, measure sometimes need to be taken, in cases where there is an increased risk of injuries. So as you can see: working safely is both a right and a duty!
 

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Types of fall protection:

Within the area of fall protection, there are several disciplines:
 
Positioning:
In this discipline, you limit the work area via a line, connecting yourself to a central point and setting the length to what you maximally need, thus preventing yourself from falling over the edge of a roof or plateau. 
Fall protection:
Your fall is broken by a dampener, which makes sure the forces remain within 6 KiloNewton. This material limits the height of your fall, preventing you from landing on the underground, as well as limiting the forces to which you are exposed. 
Climbing material for tree maintenance:
For tree maintenance, special material is needed for people to move safely in trees. In addition, you work with special lines, because of the risk of cutting. 
Rope Access
Working at heights using ropes, a solution for special activities where platforms do not provide a solution. This climbing technique is only allowed for professionals.


These are the associated standards:

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For each product group, a standard has been set up.
For anchoring points, EN795 is a well-known standard, while the standard for harnesses is NEN-EN 361, while there is also a part about ergonomics in NEN-EN 363, while user manuals are covered by NEN-EN 365. 

Standard Area
EN 41 Descending material
EN 353-1 Guided by permanent anchor line and rails
EN 353-2 Guided by mobile anchor line 
EN 354 Safety lines
EN 355 Shock and fall absorbers
EN 358 Workplace positioning
EN 360 Fall security with automatic line tightener
EN 361 Harness girdles
EN 362 Connections and safety hooks
EN 363 Fall protection systems (anti-fall system)
EN 364 Testing methods
EN 365 General requirements for user instructions
EN 795 Anchoring points
EN 813 Safety belts
EN 1496 Hoisting equipment for rescuing purposes
EN 1497 Rescue belts
EN 1798 Rescue nooses
EN 1891 Kernmantle rope with low elasticity
  

Maintenance

Each time before you use the gear, you need to inspect it for proper functioning and for flaws, like rust and torn ropes. And afterwards, you need to clean parts that need to be cleaned and service moving parts. When storing the gear after using it, make sure to provide enough ventilation to prevent rust. 

The gear listed above have to checked at least once a year or after a fall by an authorized person. In the Netherlands, that means someone who has enough experience or someone who has been especially appointed by the manufacturer. In Belgium, it is done my an independent organization. 

Knowledge and expertise

On paper, it will all have to be in order, but reality can be obstinate. You cannot always predict the challenges. The strength of fall protection is that it restricts your freedom. That also means you have less freedom to do your job. 

As such, training and experience are important elements in this type of work. Practice shows us that inexperienced users often experience the necessary irritation and dangerous situations.

Article 8 of the Health and Safety Law obliges employers to teach their people about the risks and safety measures. It is not only your duty, but it is also vitally important to know what you are doing, and there is an essential difference between providing people with a toolbox (telling them how to work safely) and actually letting them train with the gear, showing them how it works in real life. 
Training
 
 

Brands:



 
 

 

Advice

Can't figure it out? Please call me for additional advice. It is important that you make a safe choice!

Ramon - Operational PPE-adviser
+31 184 434 455  info@veiliggoed.nl
 

 

Head protection
Mind your head!

Read everything about type, standards and maintenance.

Who we are
VeiligGoed in a nutshell

Read more about our mission and services

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