Professional window fall protection systems for your operation
You must have seen it. People who contort themselves acrobatically like a stuntman, in order to clean glass and facade surfaces which are difficult to access, and who thereby literally put themselves too far out of the window. Without any protection whatsoever. Whether in private households or when cleaning windows professionally – this scenario unfortunately occurs much too often. This is confirmed year after year by the depressing accident statistics. In Switzerland, between 2015 and 2019, the proportion of industrial accidents caused by slipping and skidding exceeded 28 %, and almost 6 % were falling over and/or falling from height (see chart).
However, at least in the professional sphere, there are strict regulations and legal ordinances when it comes to the topic of window fall protection. And from a technical point of view too, safety equipment and protection options for window cleaners have evolved enormously. In this blog post, we want to introduce to you two systems which are very simple to implement in practice, without great expenditure of time – and which can also save lives: the modular fall protection system for windows (MFS) and devices with single anchor points (EAP).
Modular fall protection system for windows – MFS
The modular fall protection system for windows is a mobile window railing which keeps the window cleaner at a distance from a fall edge. In contrast, fall arrest systems are intended to protect a falling person from a fatal impact. With the MFS, neither personal protective equipment(PPE) nor training is necessary – although the latter is highly recommended by the INNOTECH experts, because only well trained workers are well protected.
MFS from INNOTECH
When INNOTECH, the family company from Upper Austria was founded 20 years ago, one of its aims was to make the working locations of window cleaners as safe as possible. In order to drastically reduce the risks of falling which are created by windows or wall openings, one of the products developed by INNOTECH was a modern fall protection system for windows (MFS). This is fully state-of-the-art and extremely easy to use. The users make themselves safe in just a few simple steps, despite their dangerous activity. The modular fall protection system for windows from INNOTECH is made from aluminium, and therefore impresses because of its very low intrinsic weight. Following simple assembly, it is inserted into the window frame by means of extendable telescopic rods, and is held in place by pin-lockings. The mobile protection railings also cover numerous window widths, and can therefore be used for almost all types of windows. After use, the system is quick and easy to remove and dismantle again, and it is stored in a minimum or of space.
Product details of the MFS from INNOTECH
- Flexible safety system – as per EN standard 13374
- Window widths between 432 and 2487 mm
- Load capacity: 125 kg downwards and/or 30 kg outwards
- Individually configurable system
- Quick and simple installation
- Compact design with optional INNOTECH carrying bag
- Can be supplemented with net (MFS-NET-81)
- Also suitable for listed buildings or delicate windows
- Special solutions are possible for very tall windows
What else is on the market?
In addition to the MFS from INNOTECH, there are a number of other fall protection systems for windows. These are telescopic and can therefore also be used in windows of various sizes. However, the MFS from INNOTECH is a very modern, certified fall protection system which can be installed in most current window sizes. In addition, it is easy to transport the system from one window to another, so cleaners do not lose valuable time and are able to carry on with their actual work much more quickly.
Single anchor points EAP
Single anchor points are an individual form of fall protection which can be used as a fall protection system and as a restraint system. EAPs are used in combination with personal protective equipment (PPE), and require the users to be appropriately trained. Because these are systems which are permanently fixed on or to a building structure, they are also subject to national technical approval. EAPs are used principally on roof surfaces and in various areas of industry.
EAPs from INNOTECH
Depending on the substructure and requirement, INNOTECH also provides various EAP models and versions – always tested and certified, of course. Here is a summary of the most important details:
- Can be used universally as a single anchor point or as a system post
- The appropriate fastening equipment is also available for every substructure
- Variants for installation without roof penetration
The EAP-LOCK-13 from INNOTECH is equipped with a removable, rotating anchorage eye, and it secures 2 people simultaneously when they use personal protective equipment.
What else is on the market?
There are also various solutions in terms of single anchor points. Here, the range runs from a removable, rotating anchorage point for various substructures to various door traverses for installation in doors without damaging the building structure.
What you need to know about PPE
In principal, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used only when collective protection is unavailable for technical reasons. To be able to work while wearing PPE requires that users are trained and can provide corresponding proof. The basic training for working while wearing PPE lasts one day. Its contents focus on practical proficiency in the safe use of PPE. The trainer requires well-founded specialist knowledge and must be able to undertake rescues in training and real-life circumstances, where required.
The optimum solution – PSA-STRING from INNOTECH
PSA-String from INNOTECH is a range of harness systems available in three models: Basic, Comfort, and Pro. The Basic and Comfort models are ideally suited for window cleaning, amongst other activities. The various harnesses combine optimum comfort with top quality, and are intuitive to use. They provide the users with maximum freedom of movement, and they repel water, oil, and dirt. In addition, the harness straps are adjustable, and therefore cover all sizes of user in one universal belt size. The PSA-String Basic has fall-arrest eyelets in the back and chest areas. Automatic locks in the chest area and on the leg loops not only provide optimum safety but also ensure that the safety harness is very easy to put on.
The 4.5 cm-wide strapping is made of polyester and impregnated with Teflon®; the fittings are made from aluminium and steel. In addition, the PSA-String Comfort is equipped with padding, and this ensures even more wearing comfort. For digital administration, this model also comes with LiSA (Life Safety System, certified by TÜV AUSTRIA). This allows you to assign and identify the product by means of an app, and you can see at a glance whether your PSA-String is ready for use. This saves time and trouble.
Without a tested and certified fall protection system, the professional cleaning of windows and facades is neither recommended nor covered by the law. You have to decide in each individual case whether a mobile or permanently installed solution should be implemented by you or your operation. However, it is clear that modular fall protection for windows (MFS) is very flexible in use and that it can be implemented in multiple fields of activity. This is not possible for single anchor points (EAPs). In addition, these generally require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), plus well-grounded training.
If you require support in selecting the right fall protection system for windows for your operations, simply contact us. Our experts will be happy to advise you. Get our free checklist now! There we give you 5 tips about window fall protection.