Fall Protection Kit vs. Building Your Own

When it comes to protecting yourself from a fall, you can either buy a fall protection kit or build your own. But which is better? So, which is the better option? Keep reading to find out.

What is fall protection?

Fall protection is any system used to protect a person from falling or to arrest a person in a fall. There are many fall protection systems available, and the most effective system depends on the specific hazard and conditions present.

The most common type of fall protection is a personal fall arrest system (PFAS). A PFAS consists of an anchor point, a harness, and a lanyard or shock-absorbing lanyard. The anchor point is typically a rigid structure that is capable of supporting the weight of the person wearing the harness in the event of a fall. The harness is worn by the worker and attaches to the anchor point with the lanyard. In the event of a fall, the lanyard will absorb the energy of the fall, preventing injury to the worker.

What are the benefits of using a fall protection kit?

There are several benefits to using a fall protection kit rather than building your own system from scratch. One benefit of using a fall protection kit is that it can save you time and money. All of the components in the kit are compatible with each other, so you won’t have to waste time and money on sourcing each individual component separately.

In addition, fall protection kits often come with instructions on how to properly assemble the system, so you can be confident that your system will meet all safety regulations. Another benefit of using a fall protection kit is that it can provide peace of mind in knowing that all components have been safety tested and approved.

When you purchase a kit, you can be confident that the products included have met all applicable safety standards. This is not always the case when building your own system from scratch, as it can be difficult to know if each component meets all safety requirements.

There are many different types of fall protection kits available on the market, so it’s important to choose one that meets your specific needs. Be sure to carefully read all instructions and warnings before assembly and use.

What are the benefits of building your own fall protection system?

Fall protection kits are available for purchase from many different manufacturers and distributors. These kits typically include a harness, lanyard, and other components that can be used to create a complete fall protection system.

However, there are many benefits to building your own fall protection system:

1. You can tailor the system specifically to your needs.

2. You can choose the materials and components that you feel are the most reliable and fit your budget.

3. You can be sure that the system is installed correctly and meets all safety regulations.

4. You will have a better understanding of how the system works, which can help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

5. Building your own system also allows you to create a backup plan in case of equipment failure or other unforeseen circumstances.

Purchasing a fall protection kit is typically cheaper and easier to set up. On the other hand, building your own fall protection system gives you more control over what components you use and how they’re configured.

What are the key components of a fall protection kit?

But what are the key components that every fall protection kit should have?

A fall arrestor, also known as a shock absorber, is one of the most important components of any fall protection system. It is designed to arrest a person who falls and dissipate the energy of the fall, preventing serious injury.

Another key component is a lanyard. A lanyard is a short length of rope or webbing that connects the user to the anchor point. Lanyards are typically made from nylon or polyester, and they can be either static or dynamic. Static lanyards do not stretch, while dynamic lanyards have some give, which helps to absorb the shock of a fall.

A third important component is an anchor point. This is a sturdy point on the structure that the user can connect to with their lanyard. Common anchor points include I-beams, roof joists, and parapets. It is important to choose an anchor point that is strong enough to support the weight of the user in case of a fall.

Finally, every fall protection system needs proper signage. This helps to ensure that everyone in the area is aware of the hazards and knows how to stay safe. Signs should be placed at all entrances and exits, as well as at key points along the route.

What are the key components of a fall protection system you build yourself?

A fall protection system typically includes a full-body harness, a lanyard or shock-absorbing lanyard, an anchor point, and a connector. When these components are assembled properly, they create a system that can help protect a worker in the event of a fall.

However, it’s important to note that not all fall protection systems are created equal. Some systems are better than others, and some components are better suited for certain applications than others. That’s why it’s important to understand the key components of a fall protection system before you try to build your own.

The following is a list of the key components of a fall protection system:

  • Full-body harness: A full-body harness is the most important component of any fall protection system. It’s designed to distribute the force of a fall evenly across the body, and it should be comfortable to wear so that you can remain focused on your work.
  • Lanyard or shock-absorbing lanyard: A lanyard is used to attach the full-body harness to an anchor point. A shock-absorbing lanyard is recommended because it can help reduce the force of a fall.
  • Anchor point: An anchor point is any sturdy object that can support the weight of a worker in the event of a fall. For example, an anchor point could be a beam or column in a building under construction.
  • Connector: A connector is used to attach the lanyard to the anchor point. There are many different types of connectors available, but not all are suitable for every application. For example, you would not want to use a carabiner as a connector if there was any chance that it could disengage during a fall.

How do you choose the right fall protection kit for your needs?

When it comes to fall protection, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The type of kit you need will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of work you do, the equipment you use, and the height at which you work.

There are two main types of fall protection kits: those that come with everything you need to get started, and those that require you to build your own system. If you’re not sure which type of kit is right for you, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each option:

Fall protection kits that come with everything you need:

Pros:

  • You don’t have to worry about compatible parts.
  • Everything in the kit will work together.
  • These kits are typically easier to set up and use than those that require you to build your own system.
  • They can be a good option if you’re new to fall protection or if you only occasionally use fall protection equipment.

Cons:

  • It can be more expensive to buy a kit than to build your own system from individual parts.
  • You may not need all of the components in the kit, which can mean wasted money and wasted space.
  • Fall protection kits that require you to build your own system:

Pros:

  • You can tailor the system to meet your specific needs.
  • You can choose high-quality components that will last longer than those in a pre-packaged kit.
  • You can save money by only buying the parts you need.

How do you ensure your fall protection system is effective?

The most effective fall protection system is the one that is specifically designed for the hazard at hand. That being said, there are some basic components that every fall protection system should have. Anchor points, harness, lanyard, or lifeline, a means of egress (ladder, stairway, or even just an open area).

There are many different types of personal fall arrest devices available, so again, it is important to choose one that is appropriate for your situation.

Building your own fall protection kit is generally not recommended, as it is difficult to ensure that all components are compatible and meet safety standards. However, if you choose to do so, be sure to select components that are rated for use with each other and that meet all applicable safety standards.

What are the dangers of not using fall protection?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that fatal falls account for a significant number of deaths each year in the United States. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In order to protect workers from fall-related injuries, OSHA has put in place strict safety standards that require employers to provide workers with fall protection when working at heights.

There are several different types of fall protection, including personal fall protection systems (such as harnesses and lanyards), guardrails, and nets. When it comes to personal fall protection systems, OSHA requires that employers provide workers with a full-body harness that is properly fitted and has been tested to meet industry standards.

In addition, the harness must be attached to a lanyard or other tethering device that is securely anchored to a solid structure. The lanyard or tether must be of a certain length so that the worker can not reach the edge of the platform or work area while still being able to move around freely.

Guardrails are another type of fall protection that can be used when working at heights. Guardrails are barriers that are placed around the perimeter of a platform or work area and serve to prevent workers from accidentally falling off the edge. OSHA requires that guardrails be at least 42 inches tall and be able to withstand a force of 200 pounds without collapsing.

Nets are also an option for fall protection, but they must meet certain criteria set forth by OSHA in order to be considered effective. Nets must be made out of strong material (such as nylon), have a mesh size no larger than 3/4 inch, and be spaced no more than 18 inches apart vertically and 36 inches apart horizontally. In addition, nets must be installed so that they will catch a falling worker before he or she hits the ground or any other object below.

In Closing

Building your own fall protection system can be cheaper than buying a pre-made kit, but it is also much more difficult. If you choose to build your own system, be sure to do your research and make sure that every component is compatible with the others. Remember, your safety depends on it!

NEXT UP: Tree Climbing Fall Protection Kits – Key Parts

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Rebecca Ross
About Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) consultant who runs her own occupational safety consultancy. She focuses on hazardous materials, warehouse safety, fire safety, lab safety, fall protection, head protection and other workplace safety topics. Learn more about Rebecca here or connect with her on Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium

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