Most of your hospital workers are not affected by fall protection OSHA requirements. Maintenance workers, window washers, heating and air conditioning workers are some examples of workers that would be required to wear fall protection. Anyone up on a roof or working four feet or more from a another level are required to use a fall protection system, have guardrails or netting in place. A fall protection checklist and required fall arrest procedures should be place in every hospital, industrial, or construction environment.

What does a fall arrest lanyard have to do with the fall protection checklist? The fall arrest Lanyard is the connector system used to connect the person's body harness to an anchor point. The body harness attaches to a lanyard that attaches to an anchor point. A fall protection system must be worn by the workers anytime they are working up 4 feet or more from the level below them.

To help prevent falls from heights above 4 feet, hospital management must have the fall arrest systems in place. Falls from heights are the number one cause of death on industrial construction sites. It's important to have a competent fall protection trained person walk through the hospital and review all possible areas where a fall protection system may be needed. Have a competently trained person set up a fall protection checklist for all areas where a fall greater than 4' could occur.

A fall arrest system for your hospital may include guardrails, netting or personal fall protection systems. Those elements of a personal fall protection or fall arrest system include Anchorage, Body Harness, and Connector or Lanyard. Remember the ABC's of Fall Protection.

A – Anchorage or Anchor Point

The anchorage is a fixed structure that can anchor the fall arrest system. It has to be capable of supporting 5,000 pounds of force. Examples may be a concrete wall, steel beam or a permanent or temporary roof anchor.

B - Body Harness Gear

The body harness gear is what the worker must wear while working at a heights. It is fastened around the legs, connects also at the chest and has a back D-ring to attach the lanyard to.

C- Connector or Lanyard

The connector is a lanyard like component that is used for connecting the harness with that of the anchorage. There are various different lengths of lanyards for different uses. For example there are 2 foot lanyards for positioning, there are 4 or 6 foot lanyards, there are shock absorbing and nonshock absorbing lanyards. If a lanyard is used in a fall arrest system, it should be a shock absorbing lanyard. There are also self retracting lanyards that range anywhere from 6' to over 150' depending on the distance of work needed and the proximity to the anchor point.