There is nothing more important than safety at construction sites. Still, one of the leading safety hazards on the majority of construction sites is falling. Safety regulations and guidelines keep changing, they keep being updated and unfortunately, people still keep dying.
So, where exactly lays the problem? Is it the equipment or lack thereof? Is the said equipment faulty? Insufficient training, maybe? Workers deciding not to wear protection?
There is no real answer to these questions, except maybe that finding the appropriate fall protection is tough. Fall protection options and solutions aren’t always ideal. For example, some roofs don’t have tie-off points, so it’s difficult to apply fall protection solutions.
Thankfully, technology keeps going forward, it keeps changing and improving, and with it fall protection solutions. Today, we have many different mobile anchor points that can help prevent potential falls.
Here are 5 great mobile anchor points that can be used when working at height.
1. Mobile weighted anchors
Mobile weighted anchors are created to provide safety where there are no guardrails. They are designed as freestanding weights so there is no need to penetrate the roof.
Mobile weighted anchors are made of industrial-strength components and can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are designed to withstand the harshest of conditions.
The main part is to make sure that the workers are properly trained and that they know exactly how to use this anchor point. The installation of mobile weighted anchors doesn’t require any special tools.
The greatest advantage of the weight is that only one or two people can easily assemble and disassemble it. A single person can carry the weight, but it can be better if the load is split between the two people. Two people will better navigate the obstacles than only one.
2. Beam clap anchor points and trolleys
When working on a construction site with a lot of structural steel such as beams and if the work is fairly static, beam clamps are a great anchoring point. In case you need to travel, the other option is a beam trolley.
Beam clamps are designed to secure the channel to beams by clamping down on the wider part of the beam. Beam trolleys are also tightened to the wider part of the beam, but they have rollers. They work in both vertical and horizontal positions.
Beam clamps and trolleys come in a variety of styles to accommodate a range of beam sizes, styles, and applications.
Tripod systems are designed for confined spaces and rescue applications. They are portable and lightweight, ideal to access a confined space or to be used as rescue applications.
However, not all tripods are not used as fall protection systems. Before using a certain tripod, make sure it is the right kind.
Tripod systems are used together with pulleys to accommodate a variety of winches and fall arrest devices for a wide range of confined space entry/retrieval as well as rescue applications.
4. Parapet clamps
Parapet clamp systems are handy and easy-to-use systems. They can be a useful rigging device for suspended scaffolds. For example, when there is no space or when the space on a roof is small to use an outrigger beam.
They can be often seen on commercial structures but they only provide temporary fall protection and that’s why they are not designed as an anchorage point for a fall protection system.
Parapet clamps are easily installed by one person and a ladder or scaffolding. But if you’re working near the leading edge, regardless of whether there are parapet clamps or not, always use personal fall arrest.
Parapet clamp anchors, however, can be used for fall protection. They are similar to parapet clamps but they are also designed as anchor points. This is why before using any of this equipment you need to know exactly what each of them is designed for.
5. Rooftop carts
A rooftop cart is another type of non-penetrating rooftop anchor. A cart like this has weights that help counteract the weight of the workers attached to it. Rooftop carts have both wheels and feet that allow the cart to dig into the roof in case the fall happens.
There are different types of carts – some provide fall arrest tie-off for two and some for up to three people. This cart capacity is very important. Another important thing about the cart that should be known is the direction that it should be facing and that is based on the surface on which is standing.
Most of these carts are designed so that they can be easily disassembled/assembled and transported. This piece of fall protection equipment meets OSHA standards!
Unfortunately, sometimes even with all the best fall protection systems and equipment, accidents will happen. It’s crucial to train the employees on all the fall protection and prevention procedures and why they must use protection.
Additionally, providing your employees with the current fall protection gear is imperative. Following and sticking to all the OSHA guidelines and regulation is another thing that shouldn’t even be questioned. And it’s important to know that no fall protection is 100% safe, but it helps prevent fatalities.
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