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MSA fall protection equipment for safety at heights

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MSA (Aust.) Pty. Limited  offers a comprehensive range of fall protection equipment to addition to gas detection, breathing apparatus, head protection and safety eyewear.

MSA has recently added the Workman line of harnesses, personal fall limiters (PFL) and tripods to their already extensive range of fall protection products.

MSA explains an easy method to select the right mix of options from a vast range of fall protection products, making the process as simple as A plus B plus C, with one additional factor, the letter R.

A = Anchorage

Anchorages are selected based on the nature and location of the task and the type of construction of the building or supporting structure.

As a minimum, single point anchorages rated for fall arrest should have an ultimate strength of 15 kN (approx: 1.5 tonnes) in the direction of loading. Anchorages rated at 21 kN or above can be used by two persons. MSA has a variety of anchors rated at greater than 21 kN.

B = Body support

Selecting a full body harness or lower body harness will depend on the specific application. Australian and New Zealand Standards allow for the use of lower body harnesses only where the risk of a fall is limited to a free fall of less than 600mm.

MSA recommends the use of full body fall arrest harnesses for any safe work at height. MSA offers various harness styles to suit specific applications such as general height work, work positioning or work suspension and confined space entry. The right harness selection will ensure maximum safety and comfort in the corresponding work application.

C = Connection means

Connection refers to the link between the anchorage and harness. At the very minimum, MSA recommends a lanyard assembly (shock absorbing lanyard), designed to reduce the shock loads on the body to below 6 kN.

Appropriate fall protection equipment (PPE) must be selected after calculating the total fall distance. Lanyard options include fixed length or adjustable shock absorbing lanyards and tie back or twin leg shock absorbing lanyards, all with a variety of hardware options such as double action snap hooks and karabiners with varying gate size openings.

MSA also recommends a self-retracting lifeline (SRL) where the clearance distance does not allow the use of a lanyard assembly or when a greater range of movement is required.

R = Rescue

A good rescue plan is typically the forgotten factor when a hazard risk analysis is conducted to select the correct fall protection equipment.

This is a critical factor since emergency services can still take a minimum of 20 minutes to get to the site to rescue a fallen worker. The longer a worker is left in suspension after a fall, the greater his chances are to succumbing to the effects of suspension trauma.

A good rescue plan should not rely on just the outside rescue authorities to arrive in time. MSA has a range of simple-to-use recovery products to assist in performing a quick, safe and successful rescue.

MSA and Australian and New Zealand Standards recommend that all workers involved in working at heights complete an accredited safe work at heights training course to comply with legislative obligations and to safely manage tasks while working at heights.

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