Those in the professional climbing industries spend a lot of time educating their employees on the importance of fall protection and how to keep themselves safe. However, despite their diligence in doing so, there is certain information that can slip through the cracks. This can result in misunderstandings regarding these protection items and, unfortunately, lead to tragic accidents. As such, every professional in these industries must be able to identify these fall protection myths and misconceptions as wrong.
The Six-Foot Rule
The six-foot rule is the idea that if someone is working six or more feet from the edge of a structure, then they don’t need fall protection equipment. This is absolutely false. In fact, upon official review from OSHA, it’s been found that no distance is safe when you’re working around an unprotected edge. As such, the official guidelines for these instances require that employers supply their workers with guardrails, nets, and other tools to protect them around the edge of a worksite.
The Residential Construction Exception
It’s also believed that those working in residential construction don’t need fall protection as readily as those who make their living as linemen or tower climbers. Though they might not be working at extreme heights as other professionals do, this doesn’t mean that fall protection equipment is any less important. Getting used to working at lower heights can, unfortunately, desensitize you to the dangers, making you more likely to slip up and become injured.
The Ladder Misconception
While portable ladders are sturdy and reliable, they aren’t fall proof. Despite this fact, however, it’s commonly believed that fall protection isn’t needed as long as you remain rooted on the ladder. So, for those who regularly use these items on the job, it’s key that they also equip themselves with fall protection harnesses and fall arrest lanyards. This will give them an extra layer of protection just in case they do lose their footing.
The Total Protection Myth
For fall protection to be the most effective, each piece of equipment must be used in tandem with other compatible items. Failing to do so can cause certain pieces to malfunction and put a worker at an increased level of risk. As such, it’s important to remember that even though you’re wearing the harness, you aren’t completely safe unless you’re properly hooked up to your lifeline and protection lanyards.
At Midwest Unlimited, we don’t just seek to provide you with useful fall protection items, but the knowledge of how to use them as well. From standard lineman and tower climber tools to specialized fall protection rope and accessories, we offer a series of products to fulfill any work need. This, in addition to our informational resources, can help you look past these common misconceptions and stay safe at work.