Daily CSR
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Daily CSR
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Sharp Edges Increase Risk Factors


HSE refers to the WAH for highlighting the risks of cutting lifelines in a fall arrest system.

Dailycsr.com – 19 April 2016 – The warning from Eric Dupont informs that most of the fall in the “arrest lines can be compromised”, for which one needs to meet “a sharp edge”.
The leading sharp edges gives rise to “uniquely hazardous environments” in the time of “fall protection systems” usage as “the risk of lifelines cutting, fraying” becomes “otherwise compromised”.
According to the “Work at Height” Regulations, in short WAH, its “Schedule 5, part 4” deals with “additional requirements for fall arrest systems” clearly mentions that “a fall arrest system shall not be used in a manner which involves the risk of a line being cut”.
Consequently, it can be noted that a sharp edge, in the above mentioned circumstances, can potentially cut into “most types of lifeline”, while the performance of the latter depends on its respective “composition and the nature of the edge”.
Keeping the same diameter of the lines, “a galvanised steel line” would be preferable than a “a stainless steel lifeline” for the latter will prove “weaker when used over edges”. Moreover, steel edges cause “more damage” than concrete ones. Risks factors are amassed by considering that many buildings sport sharp edges. An example provided by HSE to illustrate the risk factor generated by sharp edges present in a building, goes like this:
“A typical example is where a worker is installing sheet roofing materials on a new building, which creates an advancing leading edge, and their fall protection system is anchored at foot level behind them (assuming that control measures higher up the risk management hierarchy have been addressed). As the installer moves out and away from the anchor point, there is a risk of them falling over the edge of the building or the edge of an elevated platform”.
Moreover, HSE also adds that:  
"Though a fall protection strategy might at first glance seem compliant, if the risk has not been sufficiently assessed the mitigation strategy will be flawed"