There are multiple types of fall protection equipment and systems used in the construction industry. In this section, we discuss each in turn.
Airbags are perhaps the most effective fall-prevention equipment on the market right now. These are essentially giant airbags that sit underneath areas where falls are likely and can accommodate multiple, simultaneous falls. They are a superior solution to traditional foam blocks which can shift and separate over time.
Guardrails are cost-effective, easy to install, and don’t require any specialist training to use. You can set them up permanently or temporarily, anywhere on your site.
Safety gates are devices designed to prevent falls through various openings, such as platforms or holes in the floor.
In 2019, OSHA made safety gates a requirement. Single bars or chains are no longer compliant.
Safety nets catch workers who fall from ledges, scaffolding, or platforms. According to the OSHA, firms should only use them when:
- Workplaces are less than 25 feet above the ground
- Other safety equipment, such as safety lines, temporary floors, and catch platforms, are impractical
Toeboards are devices that prevent dropped tools or other materials from striking workers below. They should be:
- At least 3.5 inches tall
- Capable of withstanding a force of 50 pounds