Figures from the Health & Safety Executive reveal that falls from height continue to be the biggest killer on construction sites.
Wherever anyone could fall, the first line of defence is to provide adequate edge protection. It needs to meet minimum legal standards of, or be equivalent to:
- A main guard rail at least 950 mm above the edge:
- A toe board at least 150 mm high; and
- An intermediate guard rail or other barrier so that there is no gap more than 470 mm.
Fall arrest equipment
Safety nets or harnesses do not stop people falling, but minimise the potential injuries if they do. Installing a net does not mean that proper working platforms and edge protection can be ignored, because the first priority is to stop people falling in the first place. If harnesses are used make sure that they are securely attached to a sufficiently strong anchorage point and that they are always worn. This requires user discipline and active management monitoring.
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