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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

At Guardian Fall Protection we’re always on the lookout for product misuse. We have eyes and ears everywhere. Nobody is safe (unless, of course, they’re using equipment correctly). We’re like the CIA of fall protection.

We've Got Eyes Everywhere...

Well…not really. But our picture for this quarter’s What’s Wrong With This Picture was taken by the uncle of our very own National Account Manager, Michael Boyer. So beware! Or you  may have the dubious honor of being featured in our next issue.

In previous installments of this segment we’ve featured pictures of fall protection problems that aren’t always easy to see. Here, though, we’re taking a different approach…

It’s time! Ask yourself, what’s wrong with this picture?

 

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Where Do We Start?

Here, there are no subtleties involving proper loading angles or exceeding free fall limitations. Quite simply, everything  is wrong with this picture.

Why?

Because the worker isn’t using fall protection equipment of any kind! They are working doing some touchup painting work, and are doing so without using a full-body harness, connecting device, or anchor point. The roof is fairly steep as well, meaning that any slip or trip is likely to send them over the edge.

One other thing to mention…our worker is on the sixth story of this building, putting him more than 60 feet above the ground.

Again, ask yourself a question: would you ever do this? Or to put it another way, how would you feel if one of your family members was working like this?

Been There, Done That - Now Stop!

In all likelihood our worker is a skilled and experienced professional who has done construction and maintenance work for many years. He also clearly feels comfortable working at heights. Maybe he knows he’s only going to be working for a few minutes so doesn’t think the risk is great enough to wear fall protection, or maybe his employer hasn’t made fall protection equipment available to him.

But however we try and spin it, there’s really only one correct response to having a worker in this position: it should never happen. No matter how experienced our worker may be, everyone makes mistakes, and nobody should ever be in a position where making a mistake (like slipping on a steep roof) could result in significant injury or death.

Remember Your ABC's

As always, we’re not just here to point out mistakes, but also to solve them. How can we do that here? Hopefully a number of ideas come to your mind, but here’s one: install an anchor point at the peak of the roof, attach to the anchor with a vertical lifeline of sufficient length to allow the worker to access their work area, and connect the vertical lifeline to a properly sized and fitted full-body harness worn by the worker.

Now, if our worker falls, we have a chance to put our rescue plan into action and recover them. The alternative isn’t worth a little bit of touchup paint.