Are fall arrest systems required for crane operations?

Operating a crane is an extremely important job. Due to the fact that cranes are such large pieces of machinery, and that they move such heavy objects, they can also be extremely dangerous. Taking steps to ensure crane safety is an important effort that everyone in the area has to take very seriously. One way that crane operators can improve safety is by using fall arrest systems whenever operating the machine.

What are Fall Arrest Systems?

A fall arrest system is any system that is designed to help prevent a fall, or once a fall begins, keep the person from getting injured. An example of this could include a harness that the operator wears that is attached to an anchor point. Should the operator fall from their location, the harness will catch them and keep them safe. Ideally the fall arrest system should keep them securely in their chair or whatever location they are in when operating the crane.

Are Fall Arrest Systems Required?

In an effort to maximize workplace safety, OSHA requires that a fall prevention strategy is used whenever people are working in areas where they could experience a fall. This will include most types of crane operators. In places where a crane operator is working away from the crane itself in an office with no risk of a fall, for example, it would not be required. For the vast majority of situations, however, crane operators must use a fall arrest system when operating the crane.

Why are Fall Arrest Systems Important?

A fall arrest system is an important safety tool for crane operators for a number of reasons. The first, and most obvious, reason is that crane operators tend to work at a height where a fall is going to be quite dangerous. Even when on a crane on the ground, the crane cabin is going to be 10+ feet off the ground, which can cause a serious injury. In addition, if the crane operator falls out of the crane it could cause the load to move unexpectedly, which can be very dangerous.

Most modern cranes have a safety system that will stop the motion of the crane should the operator get out of their seat. Even with that, however, the sudden stop of motion could cause the load to swing, which is unsafe. Having a fall arrest system in place will help to keep the operator securely in their seat so they can properly operate the crane at all times.


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