If there is a risk of falling, proper facilities must be put in place to prevent this. This can be done by fitting railings, setting up scaffolding, establishing barriers or hanging up safety nets, for example. Work can also be organised differently, for example, so that it can be done from a personnel lift with a work platform.
For short-term work (maximum 4 hours), or where it is not possible to establish other safety measures, personal protective equipment in the form of fall protection equipment can be used.
If you use fall protection equipment, you must use it according to the supplier’s usage instructions.
- Select equipment suitable for the task.
- Select equipment to prevent falls in preference to equipment to arrest falls.
- Shock absorbers must always be used with equipment to arrest falls.
- The anchor point must be able to absorb a dynamic load of at least 12 kN (1200 kg).
- In the case of equipment to arrest falls, it must be possible to rescue – from above or below – any person who has fallen and is hanging on the line.
When using fall arrest equipment, a contingency plan must be prepared for rescue in the event of a fall, including the use of rescue equipment, as any person left suspended may quickly sustain injury.
Checking and inspection
Checking, inspection, use and storage of fall protection equipment must be carried out according to the usage instructions of each individual supplier. Usage instructions in Danish must be supplied when the equipment is purchased.
Always check all individual parts before using the equipment, even if it is completely new:
- Trap mechanisms and slide systems must be clean.
- There must be no broken wires, cracks or visible wear.
Immediately discard the equipment or have it repaired if it has any faults which may impair its function. If the equipment has been used to prevent a fall, it must always be replaced.
The equipment must be inspected by a skilled person at least once a year, and more frequently if the equipment is used a lot. Read the usage instructions if the equipment is to be checked more frequently. The equipment must be labelled with the date of the last inspection.
Fall protection equipment will remain usable for the longest time if it is stored clean, dry and protected from daylight. Metal parts must not be allowed to rust. The equipment will normally not last more than five years.
Harnesses must catch people who are falling. It is important to ensure that the line is attached to the harness in such a way that the person falling will hang vertically after falling.
The harness must be adjusted to fit the user, and loose clothing beneath the harness should be avoided.
If there is a risk of freefall, an H harness and fall damper must be used.
Use a harness with a line to raise or lower people:
- when working in containers with narrow openings.
- when working in deep wells or silos.
If you have to be able to use your hands while you work, such as when working on a mast, it is a good idea to use a support belt which restricts your working range so that you cannot overbalance (fall prevention equipment).
A support belt must not be used where there is a chance of freefalling. If there is a risk of freefalling, you must use an H harness and fall damper.
The line which connects the harness to the rest of the fall protection equipment must be made of a synthetic rope, steel cable or rope.
The line must be as short as possible, including the fall damper, connectors, etc.
A running line (gedetøjr) is a steel cable (see the drawing on the previous page) which is secured via stanchions. There is a connection to gedetøjr which can pass across the stanchions. If it is not possible to use such equipment, two short lines with snap hooks are used so that you can secure one before undoing the other if you have to pass a stanchion. Stanchions and lines used in a fall protection system must normally be replaced if they have been subject to any stresses.
An automatic trap mechanism (fall block) keeps the line taut while you work, thereby limiting any fall as much as possible.
Fall blocks must normally always be placed above the person’s head, although some types/makes can be used on flat roofs if a number of arrangements specified by the supplier are observed.
A fall damper reduces the force of any fall by absorbing some of the energy from the fall so that the arresting of the fall is not too sudden.
Fall dampers may, for example, include a line with a built-in fall damper or other form of energy absorber.
Fall dampers must always be used in fall protection systems. Harnesses and lines must not be used alone.
Connectors, e.g. snap hooks
The individual parts of the equipment are typically connected using snap hooks or other connectors. These must be self-closing and be lockable, either manually or automatically.
It is important to make sure that you can operate these with one hand and open them with two movements at the most. Do not use a manual lock if you have to lock and unlock the device several times over the course of a working day.
Always use a suitable anchor point for your fall protection. Do not use installation pipes, radiators or similar as these are not suitable.
The anchor point must be able to absorb the force generated if a person falls. This is equivalent to a load of 10 kN (1 000 kg). The line, rail, etc. must not be able to work loose from the anchor point.
The anchor point should ideally be located above the place of work and not too far out. This ensures the shortest freefall.
If you are using a collective securing system with stanchions and lines, the work area must be signed.