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Choose Fall Protection, Choose Life

A man died in May after sustaining a fall from a television tower. Proper fall protection was available to the worker who neglected to choose fall protection. Kevin Wright, 47, of Evansville, Indiana slipped and fell 1,000 feet.

choose fall protection

Although, Wright was using a positioning lanyard, he was not using a safety harness or fall protection lanyard. While moving the positioning lanyard he slipped and fell.

It is imperative that employees make the choice to put their safety first. Precision Communications, Wright’s employer had fall protection available for him, however he did not choose fall protection before starting the repairs on the tower.

After the incident, OSHA investigated and found that there were two serious violations resulting in over $15,000 in fines for the company. This fall and death could have been prevented with minimal expense in personal protective fall protection equipment.


Construction Safety Tips

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Engineered Fall Protection Vs Non-Engineered Fall Protection

As workplace safety culture grows there is an increased awareness of the need for fall protection. Are you aware of the differences between engineered fall protection and non-engineered fall protection?

Engineered Fall Protection

Engineered fall protection systems are site specific and often provide coverage for multiple users. They are attached to some sort of foundation or an existing structure. FPS specializes in engineered fall arrest & fall protection. Our business is built around serving our customer from start to finish.

This type of fall protection begins with a customer’s need to protect a worker at heights. We send a fall protection specialist to the site for a comprehensive analysis. Information is collected and shared with our in house engineering team. A proposal for the best and most cost effective solution is presented.

engineered fall protection
FPS Engineered Fall Protection System

Non-Engineered Fall Protection

Non-engineered fall protection is more component based and often referred to as personal protective equipment or PPE. This can include a harness and a lanyard that are attached to an anchorage point. FPS has an online store that caters specifically to non-engineered fall protection solutions.

Personal Protective Equipment

Online Fall Protection Course

Education is an important step when it comes to fall protection and safety while at work. OSHA in the state of Oregon is now offering a free online fall protection course.

The Fundamentals of Fall Protection is a 6 part modular course that can be completed fully online. Within the course there are many informational videos including rescue and equipment demonstration.

At the completion of the course, viewers have the options to receive a certificate of completion.

Take the course here!

Videos Within the Course

Why are falls dangerous?
What is fall protection?
Who needs fall protection?

Safety Violations Prove Costly

A New Jersey based contractor, Navy Contractors Inc., has been cited by OSHA for safety violations. A possible $84,183 in penalties could be due for the repeat and serious safety violations.

safety violations

The investigation was in January 2019 when an inspector saw the contractor operating on a roof without fall protection. The citations were failing to provide fall protection, ensure employees wore hardhats, train employees on ladder safety and prevent the use of damaged ladders.

“Failure to comply with OSHA fall protection requirements jeopardizes the safety of workers,” said OSHA Marlton Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in a U.S. Department of Labor press release. “Fall hazards are well known, but they can be eliminated when workers are trained and protective equipment is used properly.”


Handrail & Guardrail Fall Protection

Falls from heights normally involve a fall from one level to another. Handrail & guardrail fall protection are passive types of systems that can be in place to prevent falls from higher levels.

Guardrail Fall Protection

Guardrail fall protection is a vertical barrier. Typically the guardrail consists of toprails & midrails. Occasionally it will include a toeboard which is a barrier to prevent the fall of materials to a lower level. Falling or dropped objects are a hazard to anyone working or passing by at a lower level.

guardrail fall protection

A standard railing consists of a top rail, intermediate rail and posts, and has a vertical height of 42 inches from the upper surface of the top rail to floor, platform, runway or ramp level. The top rail must be smooth-surfaced throughout the length of the railing. There must be an intermediate railing approximately halfway between the top rail and the floor.

Handrail Fall Protection

Handrails are used on stairways, ramps or other walkways by providing a handhold support. For example, a stair rail would ensure that an employee that lost their balance could grab a hold and prevent a fall over the side of the stairs.

A handrail is mounted directly on a wall or partition by brackets attached to the lower side of the handrail. The height of handrails must be between 30-34 inches from the upper surface of handrail to the surface of stair tread.


Fireworks Safety Tips

On average 280 people go to the emergency room daily around the 4th of July. If you plan on setting off legal fireworks yourself this year, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

  • Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold.
  • Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder. These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Steer clear of others setting off fireworks. They can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even as a joke.
  • Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear eye protection, and don’t carry fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
  • Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.
  • Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by the Fourth of July and other big celebrations. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.



Introducing the EdgeHalt™ Adjustable Safety Gate

GRAND FORKS, N.D., June 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The new EdgeHalt™ Adjustable Safety Gate from PS Industries™ Incorporated is revolutionizing the way that industrial facilities protect personnel from the dangers of elevated guardrail openings. The most versatile gate of its kind, the EdgeHalt Adjustable Safety Gate can easily adapt to fit a large range of openings from 18″ to 36″, reducing the need for precise measurements. This self-closing swing gate provides always-in-place protection against falls from ladderways, mezzanines and other elevated platforms.

EdgeHalt™ Adjustable Safety Gate

Part of the PS Safety Access™ line of products, the EdgeHalt Adjustable Safety Gate features heavy-duty springs that are backed by a guaranteed-for-life warranty and tested to withstand more than one million cycles. This gate is CE Marked and meets all OSHA, ANSI, Canada OHS and CSA guardrail standards. The EdgeHalt Adjustable Safety Gate’s design allows for easy installation with no sawing or cutting required.

“The EdgeHalt Adjustable Safety Gate is incredibly versatile,” says Dean Thorsen, National Sales Manager for PS Safety Access. “It fits almost any opening, it’s easy to install and it meets virtually every important safety standard in North America and Europe. I believe that it will quickly become the industry standard.”

Now available for sale on the FPS Online Store.



Fall Protection at Forest Products Expo

Please join FPS at the Forest Products Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia this week. We are located at booth 1155 and are eager to answer all your fall protection and OSHA questions.

The Forest Products Expo covers over 100,000 square feet and provides the forest products industry with a quality venue to discuss trends, discover new technologies and focus on manufacturing successes.

forest products expo

Show dates & hours:

June 26, 2019 – 9AM – 5PM
June 27, 2019  – 9AM – 5PM
June 28, 2019 – 9AM – 1PM


Proper Safety Harness Cleaning & Inspection

Inspection and maintenance of fall protection equipment is essential. A worker’s full body safety harness is an integral element of his or her fall protection system and should be inspected for signs of wear or damage prior to each use.

Here is an instructional video address proper safety harness inspection.

Safety Harness Cleaning

But what about cleaning? Like any piece of equipment, a safety harness can and should be cleaned, especially if it regularly contacts any substance that can cause wear or sub-optimal functioning (abrasives, corrosives, oils). During a thorough cleaning is also a good time to inspect the harness for damage to the webbing and hardware.

So what is the best way to clean your safety harness? The process is actually quite simple and relies on basic common sense, but there are a few cautions to keep in mind:

  • It is best to begin with the harness on a flat surface, leaving open to visible inspection.
  • Using a moist sponge, wipe down the harness to remove excess dirt and dust.
  • Mix a cleaning solution using laundry detergent or dish soap. DO NOT use any cleansers that contain chlorine, bleach, or abrasives.
  • Dip your sponge into the solution and thoroughly scrub each portion of the harness until a thick lather forms.
  • Using a sponge dipped in CLEAR water, wipe down the harness to remove the suds and soap residue.
  • Let the safety harness dry in room temperature air. DO NOT use a mechanical heat dryer or expose the harness to long periods of sun-drying.
  • When cleaning multiple harnesses, store each in a separate, dry compartment. Hang them in such a way that they are not crushed, worn, or creased.
  • Never use gasoline or other ‘drying solvents’ to clean harnesses.

And the two most important cautions:

  • Dampen but DO NOT SOAK the harness. The excessive expansion of the fibers by soaking (and the contraction by drying) can compromise the fabric’s effectiveness and shorten the harness’s life.
  • NEVER put a harness in the dryer. Excessive heat and tumbling can (and will) damage the harness.

If you follow these basics, and combine them with a thorough inspection prior to each use, you will do much to preserve your harness’s life-saving function and to make the most of its working life. If you have questions or concerns about harness care and/or maintenance, contact your manufacturer.