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The ABC’s of Fall Protection in the Workplace

Personal protective equipment is used by workers across many industries.  

When it comes to working at heights, keeping workers safe is all about making sure that there are effective fall prevention measures in place.  

Every effective fall protection system consists of three important parts, and there are several distinct categories fall protection falls into.  

This article looks at these, and introduces the easy-to-remember ABC’s of fall protection in the workplace: 

6 categories of fall protection

1. Fall arrest 

This fall protection system arrests a worker should they fall, preventing an impact at a lower level. 

2. Restraint 

Here workers are restrained through a fall protection system that doesn’t allow them to reach fall hazards. 

3. Positioning 

This system allows a worker to sit back in their harness, in a position at height, while working with their hands. 

4. Access system 

Provides a worker safe access to a location by arresting a fall should it occur and providing a means for rescue. 

5. Suspension access 

This fall protection system allows you to lower and support a worker, providing for a hands-free work environment.  

6. Rescue 

Also known as a rescue plan, this system covers the post fall scenario of retrieving a worker who has fallen. 

Fall protection is all about ABC

A is for Anchorage

Anchor points are essential components to any fall protection system. These need to be strong enough to withstand the weight of a worker, and in a position that doesn’t get in the way and endanger other workers should a fall occur. 

B is for Body Harness

On the other end of a fall protection system is the body harness. Worn by the worker, a body harness should be in good condition when used and worn the way in which the manufacturer intended. MSA’s Gravity Suspension harness provides unequalled comfort, with features designed to reduce worker fatigue and improve comfort when working at height. It also features one-hand adjustment on all adjusters, and appealing modern styling.

C is for Connecting Device  Something must connect the worker and their body harness safely to the anchor point. This is where a connecting device comes in, usually in the form of a lanyard assembly (energy-absorbing lanyard) or self-retracting lanyard. MSA’s range of shock absorbing-lanyards include leading edge approval, and the energy absorber keeps fall arrest forces below 6 kN. Lanyards are available in web and kernmantel rope configurations, with a variety of connectors.
Industry-leading fall protection equipment in South Africa

PSA believes that all workers deserve to have the best fall protection safety equipment.  

We are the leading distributors of MSA safety equipment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and our fall protection equipment is used and trusted by industrial leaders throughout the world.  

When last have you assessed your worker safety equipment? Give your workers the best chance of survival should a fall occur. Choose the trusted MSA range of fall protection equipment safety gear and equipment. 

For enquiries contact, call 0860 543 356 or submit an enquiry below and and one of our friendly staff will be in contact you shortly!


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Gas detection: Pushing the Boundaries

MSA offers a wide portfolio of rugged portable gas detectors, dedicated test stations and accessories. Together with cloud-hosted Grid services we enable a broad range of safety activities, ensuring compliance and real time awareness. PSA have been an approved MSA Approved distributor since 1997, supplying world renown instruments. We understand the unique hazards of this industry and continuously push the boundaries to provide superior solutions that protect workers.

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Confined Space Entry Solutions


Confined space entry products are ideal for usage in entry, evacuation and rescue tanks, manholes, pipelines and other vertical entry worksites. In confined space areas with a constantly high potential for hazardous emissions, MSA provides the solution. Should there be a risk of unexpected hazardous events, one of MSA’s confined space entry solution products will be able to mitigate the risk of an incident occuring.

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3 Elements of a Successful Gas Detection Program

Safety professionals recognize that gas detection is a critical part of their safety program. Having a solution one can trust brings peace of mind that workers and worksites are safeguarded.

Importantly, creating a winning health and safety initiative requires alignment of three factors: subject matter expertise, technology that works, and a human-centered approach.

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Best Practices for Installing a Gas and Flame Detection System

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Best Practices for Gas Sensor Placement and Installation

You’ve done your homework and purchased the right gas detectors for your facility. Now it’s time to install them. But how do you decide where the sensors should be placed?

You already know gas sensor placement is tied to the particulars of your unique facility. But beyond that—because you must take so many variables into account—you have no hard-and-fast rules to follow. However, in this post we’re highlighting some best practices you can consider when you’re ready to install your gas detectors.

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What’s the Difference Between a Bump Test and Calibration—and Why Should You Care?

If you work with direct-reading portable gas monitors (DRPGMs) to check oxygen levels and look for toxic or combustible gases, you’re likely familiar with the concepts of bump testing and calibration. But if you were given an on-the-spot pop quiz on the subject, could you tell the difference between these terms?

The main difference between a bump test and calibration is that a bump test determines whether a DRPGM can detect if a possibly hazardous gas is present, while calibration checks that equipment is accurate.

But it’s a little more complicated than that, and getting to know more about bump tests, the two types of calibration, and related best practices can help you keep these distinctions top of mind—and use them correctly.

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A Review Of The Gas Detection Technologies Available To You

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How to Select a Fixed Gas & Flame Detector

From traditional industrial environments to today’s increasingly complex hazardous processes, the risk of explosion and/or fire remains a critical concern. However, basic process controls typically do not warn of conditions outside normal system limits. Since industry vapours and gases (hydrocarbons) burn with very high flame temperatures, an external fire detection system that can rapidly sound an alarm in the event of a fire is essential to protect human lives and valuable equipment.

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Gas Detection Then and Now: From the Canary to the Cloud

The canaries can be found in a variety of warm, tropical places. From lush jungles to balmy islands, they seem to love warmth and sunshine. Of all the places you would expect to see a canary, one of the last would be in the dark, cool depths of a coal mine. Yet this habitat was commonplace for the bird for nearly all of the 20th century. Perched in a tiny wooden cage, the canary accompanied miners down the darkest shafts, serving as an early warning system against the invasion of toxic gases. Quite simply, if the bird stopped chirping, fainted or died, it was time for the miners to exit. While “more humane” gas detection methods predate the canary by nearly 100 years, none seemed as reliable. It wasn’t until a better understanding of the inherent dangers in mining, coupled with the advent of new technologies, that the reliance on the canary started to lessen. The yellow bird received its final pink slip in 1986. Yes, in 1986.

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Reduce Entry Level Bottlenecks with an Automated Breathalyser

It goes without saying that whilst operating in high-risk industries, safety should be given the utmost priority, which is why sourcing quality safety equipment over subpar gear is non-negotiable. Industries such as oil and gas refineries, construction sites, maritime, mining and general industry also comes with ensuring that employees arriving to work are properly screened for alcohol before they’re allowed on-site. But along with alcohol screening comes the issue of bottlenecks and getting people to their workstations on time. Read more

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Product News: Protect Your Team with the Safest Cap Lamp for Mining

It goes without saying, or rather should go without saying that in industries where your teams’ life is on the line (such as mining), sourcing the most innovative, top-of-the range safety equipment is of the highest priority. Quality versus subpar gear can spell the difference between the life and death of your company and team. And this could not ring truer in view of buying the right cap lamps for your mining team. Read more

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KwaMnyandu Taxi Association Keeps Customers Safe With Lifeloc Breathalysers

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In an effort to help reduce the number of taxi accidents throughout the eThekwini area at large and make a positive impact within the community they serve, KwaMnyandu took it upon themselves to invest in one of the most reliable instruments available to the transport industry. Read more

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PSA Launch The New All-In-One Portable XCAT Detection System

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World Day of Remembrance supported by PSA

World Day of Remembrance is celebrated around the world on the 3rd Sunday of November each year and pays tribute to those that have lost their lives through road accidents, particularly through drunk driving. This year local restaurant Spiga ‘d Oro organized the event held at Sutton Park and rallied the community and businesses to be part of the day. Pictured here is Michael Crossland of Precision Safety Appliances (PSA); Caro Smit, Director of South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) and Hank Lombard also from PSA. PSA supply Lifeloc breathalysers which are used by Metro Police as well as businesses with a need to test their staff.  “We’re always looking for ways to educate drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol so we jumped at the opportunity to be help sponsor this event” said Hank. The best way to ensure you’re safe to drive is to use a breathalyser but we realise most people don’t have access to one. So we decided to create brochures to help educate the public on how to calculate their blood alcohol concentration as well as give advice on safe drinking habits. However the best and safest attitude to have is that if you plan on driving, don’t drink.

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Beware of alcohol abuse this festive season

The abuse of drugs and alcohol over the annual festive season can have a terribly destructive effect on families, communities, on our roads and in the workplace.  “This is why it’s essential to support any initiative that aims to curb abuse and save lives,” said alcohol abuse testing expert Hank Lombard.

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