Last edited 01 May 2020

Safety systems for working at heights

[edit] Introduction

While everyone understands the dangers of working at height, not everybody is familiar with the different types of solutions that are available. This brief overview provides a simple synopsis of each type.

[edit] Fall prevention

There are two general types of protection: collective and personal.

Collective systems can be temporary (scaffolding, cranes, working platforms, safety netting, safety mats and so on), or permanent (guardrails, walls, parapets, glass barriers, trolleys and so on) and protect numerous people. Permanent collective restraints may be installed around the perimeter a structure to block access to hazardous areas. They are passive and do not require additional action or equipment.

For more information see: Collective restraint systems.

Personal safety lifelines are customised for a single worker and are active. This means workers need to take action by wearing the equipment in order to be safe. These personal lifelines include fall arrest systems (to minimise injury during a fall) and fall restraint systems (to prevent a fall from happening in the first place) and can be either temporary or permanent.

For more information see: Fall arrest systems and Fall prevention systems.

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