Falls from height are the biggest single cause of workplace fatal injuries and the second biggest cause of major injuries at work. Traditionally, work at a height has been regarded as work over 2 metres. However, research shows that 60% of all major injuries are caused by falls from heights below 2 metres. The 2006 regulations spell out specific requirements and principles for all types of work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause injury, regardless of the height. The regulations also deal with organisation and planning, competence, weather conditions, avoidance of risks, selection of work equipment, requirements for work equipment and check of places of work at height.
Personal Fall Protection Systems must:
- Be suitable and of sufficient strength for the work being carried out and any foreseeable loading.
- Fit the user and be correctly fitted.
- Be designed to minimise injury to the user and, where necessary, be adjusted to prevent the user from falling or slipping from it in the event of a fall.
- Be designed, installed and used to prevent unplanned or uncontrolled movement of the user.
All equipment used in the personal fall protection system should be strong enough to withstand any forces placed upon it and should include an adequate margin for safety above those forces. Check the equipment’s safe working loads, working load limits or maximum rated loads. Check too that any accessories or other equipment meets those requirements.