In some industries, falls are the biggest threat that workers face. In construction, for example, they are the number one reason that fatal occupational accidents occur every year. A person does not have to fall from a very high height to suffer severe injuries.
Fortunately, there are three different systems that are designed to keep workers safe. They operate in slightly different ways, so it is important for workers and employers alike to consider how they are used and the benefits that they provide.
A travel restraint system
First of all, workers may use a travel restraint system to limit how far they can move. For example, a worker could be tethered to a retractable line. While working on a roof, they know that the line has been set up in such a way that they cannot reach the edge and so a fall should be impossible. As long as the system is set up properly and is in place, while it’s still wise to be careful, workers know that they do not face serious fall risks.
A fall prevention system
A similar system is one that is designed to entirely prevent a fall, but that works in a passive way. A railing is an example of a fall prevention system. If railings are erected around a scaffolding, workers who are on that scaffold simply cannot fall off of the edge without doing so intentionally or due to truly freak circumstances.
A fall arrest system
Finally, some workers use fall arrest systems. Notably, unlike the other two, these do not prevent falls. An arrest system is simply supposed to stop a fall from resulting in dangerous consequences. An example of this would be a rope and harness system. A worker can certainly still fall over the edge of a structure, but the rope should catch them before they strike the ground, making the fall much less hazardous.
Unfortunately, systems fail and even workers who have their system set up properly could suffer injuries. Those who get injured on the job must know about all of their legal rights. Working with an experienced legal professional can help to ensure that workers receive any and all compensation to which they are entitled.