Frequently Asked Questions

    For most jurisdictions, a fall protection system must be used when work is being done at a place

    (a) from which a fall of 3 m (10 ft) or more may occur, or

    (b) where a fall from a height of less than 3 m involves a risk of injury greater than the risk of injury from the impact on a flat surface.

    Additional consideration must also be given when working on sloped surfaces. Refer to your local Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHS) for more information.

    In addition, before workers begin a job, they must be thoroughly trained in the proper use of the fall protection system they will be using.

    Proper fall protection is an important issue to those constructing high-rise buildings, and mandatory under jurisdictional OHS.

    Unfortunately, some employers overlook preventive steps, and many are penalized for lack of fall protection, particularly in the roofing industry. Responsibility also rests with the worker, who must use the fall protection equipment and inspect it to ensure it is in good working order. Remember, the best fall protection is fall prevention.

    Failure to have a Fall Protection system in place where required can not only lead to being penalized but also the potential for serious injury and the tragic loss of life.

    Fall restraint systems prevent you from falling.
    Examples include:
    • Work-positioning systems using either safety belts or full body harnesses that attach you to an anchor and leave both your hands free to work
    • Travel-restriction systems of guardrails or personal fall protection equipment used to prevent you from travelling to an edge from where you may fall

    Fall arrest systems protect you after you fall by stopping the fall before you hit the surface below. Examples include:
    • Full body harnesses connected by lanyards or lifelines to secure anchors
    • Safety nets

    The requirements for Scheduled or Unscheduled Maintenance can differ greatly. If your requirement is for the system to enable specific work to be carried out on a routine basis (typically once per year or more) then this would be known as Scheduled Maintenance. A Scheduled Maintenance System is typically designed for the specified work required on the structure by the most cost effective means. Window Washing is an example of scheduled maintenance.

    If the type of work to be carried may vary and is not subject to a routine then this would be classified as Unscheduled Maintenance. Typically these are more extensive systems as the type of work to be carried out will vary and all possibilities will need to be considered. Painting is an example of unscheduled maintenance.

    (Note: Before work at height starts, a safe work plan and rescue plan must be prepared.)

    If a fall occurs:

        Immediately call First Aid and Emergency services.
        Secure the Site.
        Contact your local regulator (i.e.: WorkSafeBC in BC, OHS in AB etc).
        Contact Atlas with the address, location of incident, when it occurred and if possible details of the type of work and area of building.
        Prepare or arrange for an incident report to be created.
        If you are the building owner you should also contact the related contractors.
        Any equipment involved in a fall arrest must be removed from service until an inspection can take place.

    The owner of the building is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and usage of the system. As a contracted inspector by the building or property manager Atlas will perform whatever work is required.

    The system is required to be inspected and signed off by qualified personnel once a year. In addition anchors that are installed using adhesive connections need to be pull tested every five years to ensure the integrity of the connection. Our inspections coordinator can give you more information on what is required.