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07/09/2012


Worksite safety

Personal protection and collective protection: two areas that have to do with safety at the worksite. An overview of the wide range of products and accessories that aim to comply with the stringent regulations in force on the subject of worksite safety and accident-prevention.

Collective protection

New emerging technologies and the growing needs of the tertiary and industry sectors have created a new challenge to managing worksite safety, even in the electrical area and from a collective standpoint.

There are various collective protection devices that can be used individually or incorporated in more complex and complete systems developed on the basis of and in compliance with precise regulatory instructions. With regards to this, it should be underscored how there are various provisions designed to govern building standards, performance requirements and the utilization methods of these safety devices.

Specifically, parapets are governed by mainly general rules that basically define the execution methods, in view of the fact that certain individuals may prefer an ad hoc construction for its worksite needs over a pre-packaged purchases. Parapets must possess certain requirements, including a minimum height of one meter, an intermediate stringer that limits the risk of falling, a centre-to-centre distance between posts, a foot stopping band and a fixing and construction such as to be able to withstand at any point a weight of at least 100 kg .

With regards to fall protection systems, regulations are much more stringent. An easy set-up is requested, but at the same time it has to be effective in terms of protection. Nets, of course, and specifically their shape and size, must be appropriate for the intended job, also taking into account falling people or objects, the stress they may be subjected to and their possible movement.

Another collective safety device is represented by life-lines, whose requirements, testing methods, instructions for use and marking of anchoring devices designed for the combined use with individual protection devices are governed by standard UNI EN 795 of May 1998.

Personal protection

PPE (Individual Protection Equipment) is governed by very complex and precise regulations that sets requirements in terms of construction characteristics, minimum performances, situations, and mandatory use.

They can be subdivided into three categories.

The first category includes systems that protect people against the risk of slight physical harm, presupposing that the user is capable of properly assessing the actual extent of the problem.

The third category includes all those complex devices whose purpose is to safeguard people from the risk of death or permanent injury, such as, for example, isolators and equipment intended to prevent risks associated with activities that expose people to dangerous electrical voltages.

Lastly, the second category brings together all those devices which do not fall within the two previous two.

All PPEs must comply with basic requirements. They must be ergonomic and thus make it possible for the operator who wears them to carry out his activity with no interference; they also must be harmless or safe: they have to protect, but at the same time not create risks or interference factors during use. Lastly, they must be comfortable and adapt as best as possible to the user's morphology, including through adjustment devices or the availability of different shapes and sizes.

All PPEs must comply with basic requirements, such as: ergonomics, meant as the operator being able to carry out his job with no interference; harmlessness, in the sense that in addition to protecting the operator they must not create risks or interference factors during use; and comfort by being able to adapt as best as possible to the user's morphology.

All-round safety

The electrical sector, in addition to the typical and already difficult life at a worksite, entails additional risks that must be carefully studied and prevented.

The use of PPE and collective protection equipment can by supplemented, although it is not mandatory, with the use of certain accessories that guarantee a job with greater safety and protection from risks.

In light of the importance that is given to this protection/prevention aspects/, the companies that manufacture these systems usually specify on their products and on their offers the type and quality of protection offered by their product references.

This way, it is easier to choose from the wide range of available solutions, easily aiming towards those products designed and made with special focus on the health and safety of the people who use them.

 


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