Architects and building designers have the expertise to create functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing buildings. But how much do they know about access and fall protection system design?

According to Work Health & Safety laws, designers must ensure ‘that any structure being designed to be used as a workplace will be without risk to the health and safety of persons’.

Architects or building designers can no longer pass on the responsibility to the builder or contractor by way of generic phrases such as ‘supply compliant roof safety systems’.

Workers are often expected to perform work at height on buildings where incorrect types of systems have been specified and installed. This could lead to a total audit on the height safety systems, resulting in their replacement or a fresh installation of more suitable systems. Such a scenario can be extremely costly and frustrating for builders and building owners who have been guided by the specifications provided, and have installed what they thought was compliant and appropriate for the end user.

It’s important to understand that access and fall protection equipment design is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Acts, Standards and Codes of Practice all come into play and are an integral part of height safety system design. It is, therefore, imperative that the designer is up-to-date with all these important regulations and compliance requirements.

Height safety and fall protection designs must incorporate systems that are suitable for the job. Specification of incorrect equipment can prove dangerous to the very workers it aims to safeguard. Similarly, if the systems are hard to use, workers will not be inclined to utilise them or will use them incorrectly.

Therefore, designers must have a complete understanding of height safety and fall protection requirements as well as excellent knowledge of all the systems available to ensure a compliant, user-friendly solution.

One cannot assume that all architects will be proficient in height safety system design and its requirements.

Sayfa Group recommends this quick height safety knowledge quiz to architects and building designers so that they can find out whether they have the necessary know-how to design and specify height safety systems and fall prevention equipment.

Falls from height continue to remain the second highest cause of workplace fatality, necessitating the design, specification and installation of correct fall protection systems at any project site.

Lack of knowledge about height safety will not only put the lives of workers in danger when they are working at height but will also impact your relationship with your clients and leave you exposed in the event of an accident.

Read more on the subject here.