The world of lifting and high-altitude work is undeniably expansive and varied, encompassing a variety of industries from engineering and construction, to tree surgery, cleaning and maintenance. Whilst the term ‘working at height’ is somewhat ambiguous, there are certain elements that are necessary for every industry, one of which is the need for safety equipment.
As technology, manufacturing processes and regulations have evolved over the past century, so has the range of lifting and safety gear. It goes without saying that staying safe and adhering to the correct protocol is absolutely essential for those working in hazardous environments; ensuring that the proper equipment is utilised is a must.
For those unfamiliar with the extensive amount of gear on the market today, it can be somewhat overwhelming and difficult to decide where to look first. However, familiarising yourself with the range of equipment available is an important first step in the process of staying safe and secure at work. This means knowing the difference between lanyards, fall arrest systems, connectors and other essential safety items.
If this all sounds a little confusing, don’t worry. Here at Lifting & Safety Gear Ltd, we’ve put together a complete guide to the world of lifting and safety equipment.
Read on to learn more.
Why Is Lifting Safety Gear Necessary?
There are a multitude of reasons why using the right equipment when working at a height is essential. Not only should individuals feel safe while working, but employers and site managers have a duty to ensure that work is carried out in accordance with legal regulations.
In accordance with the guidelines set out by the UK Government in The Work at Height Regulations 2005, those in control of any work at height activity must ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and executed by competent persons. This includes making sure that the correct equipment is utilised at all times.
Of course, ensuring the safety of employees and co-workers isn’t just to avoid legal trouble; the primary purpose of the regulations and equipment is to ensure nobody is hurt whilst doing their job. So, which jobs require safety equipment?
When Is Safety Equipment Used?
Essentially, proper lifting and safety equipment should be utilised whenever work at height is being carried out. It is worth noting that this type of equipment is not specific to one single industry and is used across a wide variety of trades to protect workers from falls or accidents.
Set out within section 5 of the work at height regulations document are a number of requirements for fall protection systems and safety equipment. These regulations state the following:
1. A personal fall protection system shall be used only if—
(a) a risk assessment has demonstrated that—
(i)the work can so far as is reasonably practicable be performed safely while using that system; and
(ii)the use of other, safer work equipment is not reasonably practicable; and
(b) the user and a sufficient number of available persons have received adequate training specific to the operations envisaged, including rescue procedures.
2. A personal fall protection system shall—
(a) be suitable and of sufficient strength for the purposes for which it is being used having regard to the work being carried out and any foreseeable loading;
(b) where necessary, fit the user;
(c) be correctly fitted;
(d) be designed to minimise injury to the user and, where necessary, be adjusted to prevent the user falling or slipping from it, should a fall occur; and
(e) be so designed, installed and used as to prevent unplanned or uncontrolled movement of the user.
3. A personal fall protection system designed for use with an anchor shall be securely attached to at least one anchor, and each anchor and the means of attachment thereto shall be suitable and of sufficient strength and stability for the purpose of supporting any foreseeable loading.
4. Suitable and sufficient steps shall be taken to prevent any person from falling or slipping from a personal fall protection system.
Here at Lifting & Safety Gear Ltd, each and every piece of equipment we sell is of high quality, approved by British manufacturing standards and accompanied by certification of testing where relevant.
What Types Of Lifting & Safety Equipment Are There?
With a solid understanding of the importance of safety equipment, alongside the current UK regulations regarding its proper use, let’s have a look at the types of gear available and their functions.
First on our list of equipment are harnesses. As one of the most common methods of fall prevention, various types of high-quality harnesses are used by workers across industries. From traditional climbing work belts and work positioning belts to a more supportive 2-point full body harness, there are a range of harness types designed to suit a variety of working environments.
What’s more, each of these harnesses are designed with frequent use in mind, featuring appropriate padding, strap adjustability and durable materials for guaranteed safety and maximum comfort.
Next on our list are lanyards. Though both serve a similar purpose, it is worth noting the difference between restraint lanyards, and fall arrest lanyards.
Essentially, a restraint lanyard is a rope or strap that attaches from a harness to a strong, secure anchor point on a platform or similar area. In the event of a slip, fall or accident, the wearer is prevented from falling to the ground and, instead, is safely supported by the lanyard and harness and kept on the platform.
A fall arrest lanyard, on the other hand, is typically used as part of a fall arrest system, which we’ll cover shortly. This equipment is designed to absorb the force of a fall and prevent the wearer from reaching the ground or experiencing great force on their body/harness. Fall arrest lanyards are commonly used in circumstances where falls are more likely to occur and cannot be avoided.
Fall Arrest System
As mentioned above, a fall arrest lanyard is used alongside a fall arrest system, such as a retractable fall arrester. These incredible bits of kit absorb large amounts of force via their retractable design. This dramatically reduces the speed/impact of a fall and prevents the wearer from reaching the ground or experiencing serious injury.
Next up on our list of kit are connectors. No discussion of safety equipment would be complete without giving an honourable mention to these unsung heroes. Connecters, such as rebar hooks and karabiners are essential when working at height. These simple yet effective pieces of equipment safely secure lanyards to harnesses and anchor points.
Lifting & Safety Gear Ltd: Your Trusted Supplier
When working at height, or overseeing the work of those who do, it is absolutely vital that the correct lifting and safety equipment is used. What’s more, using only the highest-quality gear is a must as it guarantees reliability, longevity and durability. If you’re an employer, worker or D.I.Y enthusiast in need of professional equipment, look no further than Lifting & Safety Gear Ltd.
We take immense pride in our status as lifting and safety experts, providing a vast number of reputable companies with the resources necessary to carry out their work safely and efficiently. From harnesses and lanyards to ratchet straps and slings, we’ve got what you’re looking for.
So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly and experienced team today to discuss your requirements. Ensuring customer satisfaction is a top priority, so we’re always happy to help.
Call us now on 01446 700945 or send an email to email@example.com.