|ENFORCING THE CURRENT STANDARD|
ENFORCING THE CURRENT STANDARD
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2005 and 2009 there were a total of 361,720 non-fatal injuries to American workers in the U.S. due to falls to a lower level. Furthermore, there were 3,259 deaths to U.S. workers due to falls to a lower level in that same time period. This is unacceptable since we can provide the answer to this problem.
Federal OSHA has stated in 29 CFR 1926.501 that "Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest systems." Further, this requirement is duplicated for "Leading edges", "Hoist areas", "Holes", Formwork and Reinforcing Steel", "Excavations", "Dangerous equipment", "Overhand bricklaying and related work", "Roofing work on low-slope roofs", "Steep roofs", "Precast concrete erection, and the list of areas covered goes on.
A review of the OSHA regulations governing fall protection shows that in 29 CFR 1926.502(d) "If a personal fall arrest system is used for fall protection, it must do the following:....Limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kiloNewtons) when used with a body harness; Be rigged so that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor contact any lower level".
Further, OSHA states in 29 CFR 1910.132 (d) that "The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall: (i) Select, and have each affected employee use, the type of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment; (ii) Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee; and, (iii) Select PPE that properly fits each affected employee."
Since Federal OSHA has stated that persons working over 6 feet off the ground must have fall protection, then the persons mentioned above who were injured or killed in these accidents, assuming the requirements of 1910.132 were met, were more likely than not wearing fall protection when the accident occurred. We feel that the accidents occurred because the employer did not select the proper PPE for the fall hazard. Most full body harnesses on the market today, although they will arrest a fall, are likely to contribute to injury at the time of the fall due to contact with lower levels (which is out of compliance) and contacting the structure which the person is tied off to. In effect when a fall occurs with that equipment simple dynamics will slam the wearer into the structure on which he is connected, causing injury and sometimes death. We also know that most of the equipment which is on the market today allows a user to fall a total distance of 18 ½ . Since it is general industry knowledge that all buildings are built in 10 foot increments it stands to reason that any fall which includes elongation will contact the user with a lower level. This is a clear violation of 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(16).
Federal OSHA states in 29 USC 654 that "Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees, employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees".
THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM
The Dennington Safety Harness was conceived and developed by Mark Dennington, a union ironworker from Louisiana. He envisioned a need for a higher standard in fall protection for quite some time.
The Dennington Safety Harness is that higher standard. There is a rapidly growing list of prominent national and international companies and unions that agree with us. The Dennington Safety Harness has three distinct and significant advantages that set it apart from all other competition (see The Dennington Advantage).
Various OSHA standards indicate that an employer must assess a situation and provide proper protection where needed. Proper protection has not been available until now. The Dennington Safety Harness exceeds OSHA standards and eliminates other problems associated with falls other than contact with a lower level. This in itself separates the Dennington Safety Harness from other harnesses which are presently offered on the market.
We believe that since our Harness is the highest standard available and meets and exceeds OSHA standards and provides a higher quality of fall protection than any other harness on the market that it is clearly the only product which should be used in the event a fall hazard is assessed.