What is Edge Protection?
“Prevent persons or objects falling”
Edge Protection is a broad area of construction site safety, but one of the most important when it comes to ensuring the safety of your site. A large number of fatal accidents in construction areas are related to working at height, either from falling from or through a high surface or from having an object fall on you.
This is why edge protection solutions are imperative, as their primary function is: “to prevent persons or objects from falling to a lower level”. A clear and crucial mission statement, but inarguably one with a very broad scope.
There are many different situations in which a worker can be said to be “working at height”, and many different scenarios that could lead to an accident because of this- there has to be an edge protection solution in place to safeguard against all of these. There are a range of different products available aimed at either reducing the impact of falls, or preventing them from happening in the first place: Catchfans to prevent any fallen objects reaching the ground or damaging the structure, personal protection systems to protect individual workers in the case of falls, and the simplest solution: rails and fences to prevent falls before they happen.
Edge Protection Systems
Catchfans are essentially double layered nets that rest at angles on the side of the structure to absorb the force of any object that may fall from the edge. This minimises the damage caused by such an incident, by catching it before it can hit a member of the public or cause any damage to the structure of the building itself.
The Catchfan comes in different sizes to accommodate both smaller and larger projects, and can be fitted to both steel frames and reinforced concrete, making them a solution for the majority of projects to ensure the safety of the site and the workers.
The Barrier System provides high quality steel fence systems that can be fitted to the edges of any platform through drilling, clamping (clamp), cast-in or free standing to prevent any person or object falling from the edge of a platform. The vast range of component applications outlined above ensures that the HAKI Edge Protection system is well suited for most environments including steel and concrete frame work as well as timber and aluminium beams.
HAKI offer a wide range of Edge Protection barriers to suit site requirements with each having different unique qualities such as the barrier height, length and return. Make-up barriers are also available to extend the height of a standard barrier for additional containment. Use of the barrier panels can also be enhanced through the adoption of the guardrail system on sites - HAKI currently offer the Adjustable Guardrail which spans 80cm to 330cm across 4 variations. Adjustable Guardrail provides site operatives with a safe work through solution for tasks at the edge.
Compression Post solutions are also available and can provide floor to soffit containment options from 2.44 and 4.5 metres.
As with all HAKI temporary edge protection products the range is quick to install/remove and flexible in being able to meet the complexities, challenges and demands of the environments our partners work in.
Fall Arrest Systems
These are personal fall protection systems that anchor a single worker to the ground, aimed at reducing any impact should they fall.
The Alsipercha is a steel frame that allows the worker to move around a 6.5m radius whilst conducting their work in a harness attached to a column anchored to prevent any falls from impacting the worker.
The Alupercha is the lighter weight version of this, with an aluminium frame and slightly larger 9m radius movement range. This can easily be carried and operated by one person, whilst still offering the utmost protection for the worker in the harness. With its built in shock absorber, the Alupercha aims to minimise the impact of any fall whilst still being quick and easy to install, making sure there are no excuses for avoiding edge protection measures even for the smallest and most short-term projects.
We hope that this article has provided a succinct answer to the question 'What is Edge Protection?'.