Monday, January 30, 2017

5 Common Mistakes That Cause Falls on the Job

Falls on construction jobs are the leading cause of death, with nearly 300 fatalities in 2013. While some accidents are unavoidable, many falls result from mistakes that could have been prevented which only adds to the tragedy. Being aware of the common mistakes that cause falls on the job can go a long way toward making the workplace safer.

Incorrect Equipment

Incorrect equipment takes on several fronts. It could involve equipment that is inappropriate for certain tasks. Body belts, for example, can help you get into proper position and prevent falls. However, they offer no protection if one occurs.

If the potential for a fall exists, it is imperative to use a full body harness. If you work at heights of six feet or greater, you’ll need a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS). It consists of a full body harness, lanyard/lifeline, and secure anchor points.

All components are necessary to protect you from the risk of a fall as well as its impact if one occurs. When used properly, it could save your life or that of a co-worker. Likewise, certain jobs require equipment that can handle the particular hazards of some tasks.

Workers who use welding equipment should opt for a body harness that has webbing which is burn resistant and arc-flash protective. A worker who needs to reach sites by climbing should use a harness with a frontal attachment point.

While you’ll find different types of harnesses, connecting devices, and anchor points, that doesn’t mean that these parts are interchangeable. So the mistake of using incorrect equipment also includes not using the right parts in the PFAS. These systems are designed to work in concert with the other components.

Failure to Inspect Equipment

Before using a PFAS, you should inspect all components including the harness, connection, and anchor point. The harness is of particular importance since it will help distribute the force of a fall to reduce the risk of injury that can occur even if you don’t fall.

The impact of a sudden stop can cause serious bodily harm. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommends bending 6-inch increments of the belt of the harness and examining it for signs of damage like wear, frays, or cuts. You should also make sure that the rivets are intact and lie flat against the material.

This inspection is essential prior to using a body harness. It may seem unnecessary especially for something that gets frequent use. However, a small tear is much easier to repair than one that has gone undetected. In the meantime, everyone using the same equipment is at risk for a fall because of this avoidable mistake.

Damaged Equipment

Using damaged equipment puts you at a greater risk for a fall. A PFAS can only protect you as well as the integrity of your gear remains intact. Damage from whatever cause represents a weak point that can give way in a critical situation.

Equipment with tears or any other sign of deterioration should be repaired by an authorized service center or destroyed. It’s essential that damaged safety gear is not placed back into general use. That is what makes an inspection of the equipment critical whether it’s before a single use or as part of an annual inspection of safety equipment.

This measure also applies for harnesses that show signs of impact from a damaged fall indicator. These harnesses should never be reused. Store safety equipment in a clean, dry space out of direct sunlight to prevent damage caused by environmental factors.

Along with regular inspections, these simple measures can ensure a safe workplace and prolong the life of a PFAS by keeping it in proper working order and repair.

Improper Use

The best safety equipment does little good to prevent falls if you don’t use it correctly. That means ensuring that a body harness fits properly before going on the job. Your body harness should fit snug, but not too tight to avoid creating pressure points.

You should also adjust your chest strap so that it doesn’t sit too high on your sternum to avoid injury in case of a fall. You should position your back strap so that you don’t sit too far forward or too far back in the harness. Failure to do so could result in you falling out of the harness.

The proper fit will ensure that the force of a fall goes from the D-ring down the back strap to the sub-pelvic straps where your body can best handle the impact of an arrested fall.

Lack of Training

Most accidents can be avoided with proper instruction about the use and care of safety equipment. Your supervisor should instruct all workers how to use the equipment as well as how to recognize the damage that could lead to failure. No one should use a PFAS without training by a competent person. Lack of training also applies if a work site has changed in some way that can affect current fall protection procedures.

If changes are made to the site or your plan, retraining by a component person with proper experience and authority is essential no matter how long everyone has been on the job. However, the training doesn’t stop with equipment use. It should also include a plan for rescue in the event of a fall that has been arrested. While a PFAS will prevent a free fall, a rescue plan is necessary to reduce the risk of suspension trauma caused by an incapacitated worker left in an upright position for too long.

 Often, falls on the job can be prevented by simply using the proper equipment in the right way. That means ensuring it is in good shape without damage that could cause it to fail. It is both the responsibility of the employer to provide training and for the employee to learn all that it entails. Only then can you prevent falls caused by common mistakes.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Top OSHA Violations and How You Can Avoid Them

Violating federal government guidelines is serious and can shut down your new project. The United States Department of Labor publishes a list through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on a frequent basis to inform employers of the guidelines, the most common violations, and how to fix them before an on-site inspection.
The following overview lists the top most frequently cited standards during an inspection. By following the guidelines to avoid OSHA violations, you can increase the safety rating in your workplace while reducing the number of accidents and falls.
Be on the Look-Out for These OSHA Violations
The following is a list of the top ten most frequently cited OSHA violations as of 2016 for the Fiscal Year of 2015 and brief overview of each:
  • Not Following Fall Protection Standards – A worker on elevations higher than four feet in the general industry, five feet in shipyards, and six feet in construction zones should wear a persona fall protection system, use a guardrail system, or safety net systems. This includes workers working on areas with unprotected sides and edges, leading edges, hoist areas, holes including skylights, formwork and reinforcing steel, overhand and bricklaying work, roofing work on low-slope and steep roofs, precast concrete erections, wall openings, residential construction, and more.
  • Not Following Hazard Communication Standards – Employers and workers should always be aware of the types of chemicals and the hazards associated with those. Each chemical should be classified correctly and include a list of hazardous chemicals that are clearly labeled. All employees should be trained regarding the handling of these chemicals during processing, storage, and emergencies. Safety data sheets should be distributed among the workers.
  • Not Following Scaffolding Standards – All scaffolding should be able to support its own weight and up to four times the maximum load without collapsing. The suspension rope that is used on scaffolding needs to hold at least six times the maximum load and each platform should be fully planked or decked appropriately. Each scaffold and planks should measure correctly for the maximum distance depending on the scaffolding’s operations.
  • Not Following Respiratory Protection Standards – Employees working in the general industry, shipyards, marine terminals, longshoring, or construction industries should take precautions against respiratory issues by using personal protective equipment such as respirators.
  • Not Following Lockout and Tagout Standards – Several standards are listed for lockout and tagout processes, but include the servicing and maintenance of machines that if turned on could release energy or be physically capable of harming employees.
  • Not Following Powered Industrial Truck Standards – Employers need to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all workers in regards to the fire protection, design, servicing, and use of forklift trucks, tractors, motorized trucks, and other industrialized vehicles.
  • Not Following Ladder Standards – Ladders should be able to withstand up to four times the maximum load with notable exceptions and the rungs should be appropriately distanced from each other. Self-retracting lifelines and rest platforms at intervals are not to exceed 150 feet.
  • Not Following Electrical and Wiring Methods Standards – This standard includes the effective bonding of grounding conductors such as metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and more.
  • Not Following Machine Guarding Standards – Guarding methods can include barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, and more to protect workers from flying parts, pieces, sparks, and other hazards while working.
  • Not Following Electrical and General Requirements – Each electrical equipment or conductor needs to be approved, examined, and suitable for the job.
How to Avoid OSHA Violations at Work
The number one OSHA violation listed is not following fall protection standards. Falling at a worksite not only can lead to injury and paralysis, but in many cases, death. OSHA reports that 359 out of 899 total deaths on construction sites were due to falls in the 2014 calendar year (39.9 percent).
Out of the top ten OSHA violations listed, 6,721 fall protection violations were cited. OSHA plans to increase the penalty amount for future violations. These fines have not been raised in decades and topped at $7,000 per exposed worker and $70,000 per person for serious violations.
The increase will allow OSHA to fine companies close to $12,500 per worker for violations and $125,000 per worker for serious or repeated willful violations. These new penalties went into effect on August 2, 2016.
A few of these OSHA violations can be avoided by using the appropriate fall protection systems including universal safety harnesses, tower harnesses, retrieval harnesses, and lifeline rope. The type of safety equipment you use will depend on the nature of your work.
Harness Land products are OSHA and ANSI compliant and made with a durable construction to meet the demands of the worker. You can find safety harnesses of all types, lanyards, retractable lifelines, anchor points, fall arrest systems, fall protection kits, and rescue systems. The company also offers confined space equipment including tripods with a winch and working suspension chairs.
The staff at Harness Land can help with fall distance calculations to assist you with anchorage and measurements for a shock-absorbing lanyard and D-ring anchorage connector or a retractable lifeline. You can also find useful frequently asked questions and tips to keep your fall protection system in working order, such as never modifying your harness or equipment and only hand washing harnesses.
You will also find safety gear at Harness Land which an inspector may look to see if you keep on hand in the event of an emergency. This includes first aid kits, eye protection, hard hats, safety apparel, material lifting, and heat stress safety.
You can find a variety of brands at Harness Land including Guardian Fall Protection, Jackson Safety, Elk River Fall Protection, MSA Safety, Genuine First Aid, Protecta, Radians Safety Wear, and more.
Whether you are working on a roof, construction site, ladder, or scaffolding, you can find the type of harness or fall protection system you need from Harness Land to avoid OSHA violations.

Monday, October 24, 2016

5 Tips for Protecting Against High Falls

At the workplace, your job description may involve accessing the top of the machines, large vehicles, and sometimes even buildings. This means that you will need to climb a certain height to perform your job efficiently. Whether you are working on a construction site or are involved in the maintenance tasks in industries, working at heights is always riskier than working on ground level.

What’s more, your job may not be limited to a particular area; you may have to move on to different areas carrying your tools with you. One slip or a slight imbalance may even cost you your life in such situations. This is why it is important for you to utilize some type of fall protection equipment on such jobs.
The industries set forth certain safety guidelines, ensure that you follow these strictly because they are there for your own good. By following them, you will be able to work efficiently without taking any unnecessary risk. Here are five tips to protect you against high falls at your workplace.
  1. It is always good to plan in advance.
Perhaps, the most important thing that you can do to protect yourself against high falls is prepare well in advance for your job. What this means is that go through your job description and understand what it is that you have to do. You can check with your job coordinator about the equipment used as well as the training you will need to perform the job safely. You must also ensure that you are well versed with the safety rules and guidelines specified by the company you work for. If you have any doubts or questions regarding your job, do not hesitate to ask about it.

  1. Using proper equipment is a must.
What equipment you use will change depending upon the type of work you are asked to do. You cannot use a ladder for a job that requires you to stay at a certain height for a long time, it’s just not safe. If you are planning to work in high places for a long period of time, it is important for you to wear fall protection equipment such as climbing harnesses, helmets, and anchors.

Using such equipment ensures that you are protected at all time against high falls. The fall protection equipment must be checked at regular intervals for any signs of wear and tear, it is one of the thumb rules. At Harness Land, you will find a collection of fall protection gear that not only adheres to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration of the US Department of Labor) requirements, but is also made from high quality materials.  

  1. Avoid all distractions while you are working at heights.
The two most important elements that you need to pay attention to when you are working at heights is efficiency and balance. If you want to finish your work efficiently and on time, distractions such as mobile phones and music players must be avoided. These devices will only interfere with your work by distracting you, especially in a situation where all your attention needs to be on the job.

  1. Be aware of all the risks associated with your job.
Whether it is a construction site or an industrial one, every work site comes with its own set of risks. You must be aware of all the risks associated with your work site. This helps you strategize ways in which you can minimize the said risks before you actually begin your work.

  1. Read the rescue plan thoroughly.
The companies or industries will always have a rescue plan in place when there are workers working at heights. See to it that you know everything there is know about this rescue plan before you start working. If you ever do get trapped while working, you will know what to expect and you will also be better able to handle this emergency situation.

With the help of these tips, it is possible to protect yourself against high falls at workplaces.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Avoiding Increased OSHA Fines

With Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) impending penalty increase, companies must engage workers, understand new technology and make a plan to avoid devastating fines.

All it takes is one work safety or worker health violation to severely hinder your company’s business health.

With OSHA's close to 80 percent fine increment becoming effective August 1, and its more thorough examination processes, it could be significantly all the more troublesome to attempt to stay up to code. Until lately, a genuine OSHA infringement punishment remained at $7,000.

New principles have now expanded the fine to $12,600 and the price goes up from $70,000 to more than $120,000 for repeat and willful violations. This can be devastating for small or medium sized business.

There are a variety of steps that any organization can take to stay away from compliance slipups, and guarantee these new, harmful fines are maintained. Leaders and workers can keep thier company on course with these three basic rules to follow OSHA compliance requirements.

Engage Workers

Build up a society where workers are urged to bring issues to the managers attention, without fear, about potential safety hazards and fall protection concerns. For instance, workers in sewage, wind energy and telecom industries are frequently the ones in the field and on the ground, and may see things the higher-ups do not. By giving an approach to staff to namelessly report possibly perilous circumstances, managers can evaluate the essential safety concerns to improve work environments. Assign a worker or representatives to direct customary safety checks, and execute safety programs so that everybody is on the same page. Give your in-house security reviewer a record-keeping framework like a versatile structure for chain of command, and to guarantee that is safety is front of mind, and management is alerted of potential dangers.

Understand New Technology

Keep focused on current best practices and OSHA requirements by understanding and following the development of safety technology. Follow fall protection safety blogs, like Harness Land, and you’ll stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Another thing you can do is download a mobile app that will provide you with keen insight on data and analytics for safety. Mobile apps can have entry to day-by-day review agendas to remain OSHA agreeable, which can give consistent access to ergonomics best practices, crisis administration, development safety, EPA indoor air quality, or forklift security.

Make A Plan

The stakes for an infringement are higher than at any other time, and even the thought about a fine can threaten your business health. By building a plan early, everybody, from administration to workers, is readied when the time seeks an examination. Much the same as rehearsing for a fire drill in school, when everybody is better educated and all around arranged to experience an examination, workers are prepared.

An OSHA assessment can be an alarming prospect and the recently upheld fine increase can place organizations in threat of losing their money and business. With a temperamental economy and continually evolving scene, the last thing your business needs is a fine or infringement that can go upwards of five figures. Follow these suggestions and your association, small, medium or big, can guarantee worker safety and OSHA compliance.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Eveything to Know About Buying Anchor Points

Your gear is only as good as the safety anchor it's attached to!

Anchor points are a vital part of a fall protection system. Fall protection anchor points are usually installed on the roof and are used to connect lanyards, lifelines and other forms of tie-off which prevent a worker from falling. Roof anchors can be as simple as a D-ring connection or as complex as a complete lifeline system. Both permanent and temporary fall protection anchors are available.

Harness Land offers the most complete selection of temporary and permanent anchorage connectors available.Our safety anchors include steel anchors, concrete anchors, roof anchors and specialty anchors like our vacuum mount for smooth surface environments. We manufacture anchor systems to fit your unique applications.

Plus, your crew can work with confidence knowing each anchorage connector has been rigorously tested to meet or exceed industry standards.

Getting Started with Anchors


They all must provide a secure point of attachment whether the application is steel, concrete or roof based and be capable of supporting your fall protection system loads.

The first question to ask when selecting a fall protection anchor is:

What are you going to attach the anchor point to?

Anchorages are sold by what they connect to, and the structure will often require a specific type of attachment means. We offer various types including steel anchors, concrete anchors, roof anchors and specialty anchors. All-purpose wrap-around choker style anchorage connectors are the most versatile and will connect to various structure shapes and sizes. In addition, we offer roof, steel and concrete anchors and even specialty anchor styles for poles, leading edges and more. ​

Anchors provide a secure point of attachment for your personal fall arrest system and can be permanently installed for areas accessed often, or portable for temporary anchor points. Permanently installed anchors are typically constructed from durable, heavy-duty and corrosion resistant materials for extended periods of use and longevity.

What Type of Work Are You Doing?

Your choice of anchor depends on the type of work being done and the amount of mobility needed as well as the connecting subsystem attached (ex. lanyard, self retracting lifeline).

Fixed anchor points are typically the easiest to use and find compatible structural anchor points and they do limit your work space. Mobile anchors move with you expanding your work area for maximum freedom of movement.

Your anchor and fall protection system must provide you with the ability to work safely and comfortably. Often, if any part of the system is difficult to use, it won't be putting the worker and everyone working around them at risk.​​

​All components must be made from quality materials strong enough to endure rough handling and exposure to the elements. Your anchor and connecting components must be rated for your application such as fall arrest, rescue, work positioning or material handling. Choose one that maximizes strength and minimizes weight.

Choose Harness Land for your Anchorage Needs!


A fall protection system is only as good as its anchor point. Don’t cut corners when it comes to the backbone of your fall arrest system. Our selection of anchor points is great for a variety of materials and environments. Whether you need concrete anchors for a foundation job or roof anchors to do some leak repairs, our fall protection anchors have you covered. Don’t forget we have anchor point accessories like anchor straps, clamps, rope grabs, and more to make your fall arrest system the safest it can possibly be. Orders over $99 will ship for free!

Select an option from the listing below to begin the process of selecting a fall protection anchor.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Essential Fall Protection Equiptment for the Construction Industrty

Those that own a construction business or are heavily involved in the management of construction sites know that there’s a never-ending list of responsibilities. Maintaining efficiency of the project while ensuring profitability are important, however there’s nothing more important that protecting your workers from dangerous and potentially lethal falls.

It may shock you to know that an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs alone, according to data from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced new fall protection requirements for Residential Construction.

Here what you need to know about essential fall protection equipment for the construction industry.

ABCD’s of Fall Protection Safety
When it comes to fall protection safety, you need to provide your employees with the resources and knowledge they need to protect themselves from deadly falls. When your construction workers are at risk of falling, make sure they understand that ABCD’s of fall protection.

As the secure point of attachment for a fall arrest system, the anchorage point secures the worker to a firm base. All anchorage points must support adequate loads, and require different regulations depending upon the type of active personal fall protection system your worker is using:

  • A personal fall arrest system must have an anchorage point that supports at least 5,000 lbs.
  • A personal fall restraint system must have an anchorage point that supports four times the intended load.
  • A positioning device must have an anchorage point that supports two times the intended load or 3,000 lbs., whichever is greater.

As you can see, the type of anchorage point regulations you need to follow are dependent upon the job being done, the structure being worked on, and they type of industry you’re serving. The anchorage structure to which the connector is attached must be capable of supporting a load of 5,000 pounds per person or shall be designed, installed and used as part of a complete system that maintains a safety factor of at least two, under the supervision of a qualified person.

Body Support
Full-body fall protection harnesses provide the needed body support via straps that fasten around the worker, while distributing fall arrest forces over the chest, shoulders, upper thighs and groin. A full-body harness is the easiest way to feel protected when working at heights, supplying a connecting point between the worker and the structure’s anchorage point.

It’s important to provide complete protection to your construction workers. According to OSHA, “There is a growing body of evidence which points to hazards related to the use of body supports other than an appropriate fully body harness. Studies performed in Europe and by the U.S. Air Force indicate high risks associated with the body belt in both fall arrest and suspension modes. Further, the possibility of falling out of a body belt and chest-waist harness is significant and has appeared in accident reports.”

An adequate full-body harness should be comfortable enough for the worker to wear all day, providing adjustable, form fitting straps. These days, many harnesses come with ergonomical options, more padding and lighter materials, all provided to keep the worker more comfortable for longer hours, increasing productivity when working in dangerous situations. Find a harness that isn’t confusing to get on and off, or to adjust. This only decreases safety and productivity.

Connectors are what links the worker’s harness to the anchorage point. Whether it’s a shock-absorbing lanyard, an adjustable positioning lanyard, or a self-retracting lifeline, the connector will help keep your worker from hitting the ground. When used in conjunction to a fall restraint system, the connector must be short enough so that the user doesn’t reach a fall hazard.

Self-retracting lifelines give your construction workers ample space within the work area, utilizing extendable and retractable mechanisms to let the user move freely. If the worker falls, the lifeline will stop the fall by sensing the sudden acceleration.

A shock-absorbing lanyard, on the other hand, is designed to take the strain out of a fall. Offering a flexible line, a connector at either end is used to connect the anchorage to the body support of a harness. The lanyard is connected via the back of a D-ring in between the workers shoulder blades and anchored to a structure that is above the worker to minimize fall distance.

The descent/rescue equipment is an essential part of fall protection for the construction industry. Should an accident happen, descent devices are utilized to rescue a fallen worker. Choosing the best descent and rescue equipment, whether it’s a winch, tripod, ladder, net, or davit arms, will depend on your construction site and the type of job being done.

Remember, the anchorage, body support and connectors aren’t the only elements of an all-encompassing fall protection system. Should the worst happen and a worker falls, you need to have a backup plan in place. This is where a comprehensive rescue system will come in use. As an owner or manager of a construction site, it’s your duty to supply all workers with the best fall protection equipment available to ensure safety throughout the project.

While it may seem expensive to invest in fall protection equipment, it will be detrimental to your project and possibly company should an accident happen and you’re not following OSHA’s regulations. The fallout from injuries or deaths sustained in falls cost construction companies millions of dollars annually in the form of lost work, increased insurance claims and messy liability troubles. Knowing the ABCD’s of fall protection and investing in the best equipment, while educating workers on proper protocol and response plans will save both money and lives.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rescue Devices & Kits for Suspended Workers

As 2014 comes to end, most of us should know their ABC's of fall protection.  Anchors, Body Harnesses, & Connectors, but what about the D?  D is for Descent/Rescue & has become a top issue for not only OSHA & ANSI, but for construction workers and their employers.  With many job sites always having A, B, & C taken care of, when a fall occurs & the worker's fall has been arrested, yet still suspended or dangling from his lanyard.  The first issue to be concerned about is where all his blood will be flowing while suspended & we need to make sure this is handled to allow time for the worker to be rescued.  We carry suspension trauma straps that are easily attached to your harness to place the legs in the proper position & some of the newer higher end harness like the Exofit Nex already have them built into the harness.

gotcha rescue kit
Many manufactures have various forms of rescue devices for assisted rescue, self rescue, & descent systems.  You need to determine which type is best for your job application.  Is the work environment safe for the worker to be lowered to the ground or will the worker have to be retrieved back up higher to a safe working platform or roof.  Sometimes workers don't have coworkers around them, so one would need to have self rescue or escape device, which is usually a descent rescue.  There will be instances where a worker is unconscious, you need to account for this & be ready for an assisted rescue.  We carry rescue kits all configured with the components you need complete in a bag & ready to be in place, ready to use on your job.  There are self retracting lifelines that have a rescue mode on them as well, these are widely used in the oil industry.

Always make sure you have a rescue plan before you start your job.  Don't forget the D in your ABC's & the R is silent, but with out it your fall protection system is not complete.