For more than 20 years,the INNOTECH industrial safety experts have devoted themselves to the ongoing further development and improvement of the fall protection systems manufactured by the family company from Upper Austria.
The latest product in the area of fall protection for windows is the modular fall protection system for windows(MFS), which is easy and quick to mount in the window frame as safety railings, and thus ideally protects cleaning personnel from falls.
Especially for facility managers and their teams, safety is always top priority – not least because it is also subject to very specific legal regulations, but also because it is of decisive importance that the cleaners can concentrate on their work without always having to check whether the safety system really is sufficiently safe.
They must be able to rely on this!
Background of the development
In order to significantly further increase this sense of safety enjoyed by the user, INNOTECH has modified its previous window fall protection systems (FAS and FSG), and in doing so has increased the usability yet more.
While the old systems used spring pre-tension, the telescopic rods of the new MFS tools are attached to the window frame using a clamping solution, or else by the use of drillings, depending on the application.
In addition, the MFS can be adjusted in terms of width and height and supplemented by a net, so no objects can fall out of the window which could then injure passers-by. All safety mechanisms were comprehensively upgraded.
This not only makes the new INNOTECH window fall protection system much easier to use, but also provides significantly more safety. However, in addition to windows, MFS is also suitable for wall openings (concrete, brickwork, and wood), and it can therefore also be used as temporary protection during the construction phase.
Only certified systems comply with the standard and are safe
“A professional window fall protection system is safe only when it complies with all standards” emphasises Manuel Weber, Product Manager at INNOTECH, referring to the certification of MFS and the impressive test results.
In this way, he also wants to warn anyone who might be considering cobbling together a makeshift safety system themselves. “This can be really dangerous” states Weber. Thus, before a window fall protection system may be sold as such, it is thoroughly tested by the respective testing institute.
A customer can recognise from the labelling of the respective system that it complies with the current legal standards – and only then is it also safe. For example, MFS from INNOTECH is certified to DIN EN 13374:2019 and labelled accordingly.
This certification was preceded by very extensive testing performed by DEKRA Testing and Certification GmbH. In this process the product is taken to its stress limits under conditions which are as realistic as possible, in order to closely test the parameters relevant to safety.
For example, to achieve this, MFS was assembled as intended and installed in a window frame.
Not only were the load capacity and the side protection system’s permitted loading then thoroughly tested, but so was the stability of the anchoring in the window frame.
In addition, it was checked whether individual elements or even the entire system deform in any way, and therefore potentially may not be further used. This procedure is effectively the “elk test” (from the automotive industry) for window fall protection systems, and it is a real endurance test.
“All parameters of our MFS system were thus shown to be well above the legally prescribed minimum standards” says Weber with satisfaction.
In addition to such certification, correct use is of course decisive when it comes to the subject of safety. Before first use, the instruction manual therefore certainly needs to be read in full.
Ideally, the cleaning personnel expected to work with the modular fall protection system for windows should also be thoroughly trained, so that they can assemble and install the side protection system correctly.
After this, the window fall protection system must also be inspected regularly for potential visible defects, such as loose threaded joints, deformation, wear, or corrosion.
It is also essential that activities at working locations where there is particular risk are performed only by suitable individuals, i.e. those familiar with the respective safety system who also have no symptoms of health restrictions such as heart and circulation problems, and who are not impaired by taking medications.
In addition, the users of the MFS must protect not only themselves, but others as well. So for example, before the start of cleaning tasks, it must be ensured that no objects can fall out of the window, thus injuring passers-by. This is easy to achieve using MFS from INNOTECH, because it is simple to supplement by means of a net.
In our checklist we give you 5 tips for safety and protection when cleaning windows.
Simplicity of handling as a safety factor
A further important aspect, which may recognised as safety-relevant only upon reconsideration and is therefore often overlooked, is the practicability or usability of the window fall protection system.
While facility managers above all consider safety and the price/performance ratio when acquiring a professional fall protection system, the users focus on other aspects.
Especially when they have a defined workload has to complete, it must be possible to install and dismantle a window fall protection system in just a few minutes, and – for external service providers – the system must also fit easily into a private vehicle.
Very complex and bulky systems are therefore often not even used, because their handling is too complicated, and they can be transported from A to B only with difficulty. It is of course obvious that cleaning tasks at windows without fall protection are much riskier.
With its MFS, INNOTECH has also established a yardstick in this regard, because the new side protection system from the Upper Austrian company is manufactured from aluminium and is therefore very light.
In addition, it has a modular structure, and in its dismantled state it is easily transported in the MFS carrying bag. But even when assembled, the MFS takes up hardly any space and can be stowed very easily, so that for its next in-house deployment it has only to be installed in the respective window frame.
The modular fall protection system for windows is thus completely safe and also saves a huge amount of time – the best prerequisites for the cleaning team to really put this professional window fall protection system into use.
According to Manuel Weber: “This was another way in which we were able to significantly improve the new system in comparison with the previous models.”
Especially when cleaning windows, safety always has first priority. For this, not only must the window fall protection system fulfil all current standards and legal requirements, but the cleaning personnel must also be trained and suited to using these systems correctly, and must not suffer any relevant health impairments.
Questions about the new MFS from INNOTECH? Then simply contact us. Our experts will be pleased to help you when it comes to finding the best and safest fall protection system for your operation.
Here’s the link to our factsheet! You’ll find all relevant facts there about window fall protection, summarised compactly.