Where to use the Fall Protection System
The purpose of the system is to mitigate the effect of falls from height during construction by reducing the potential fall height and by providing an energy absorbing landing area. The Soft Landing System has been designed for use principally inside a building, where the bags will be enclosed by walls or partitions.
Each bag must be visually inspected to ensure that there is no damage to the outer casing. The clips must be inspected for damage to ensure that they are fully operational. Any build-up of mortar or mud should be removed with a stiff hand brush. The overall appearance of the bag should be assessed to check if the energy absorbent material has not been crushed. The ID tag sewn into the seam of the bags must be checked to ensure the “Inspection Due By” date has not been exceeded. If exceeded the bags should be inspected, tested and colour coded to prove it is still fit for purpose.
Installation at Ground Floor
The floor area should be cleared of all debris prior to installation. Working from one corner, clip the “Soft Bags” together to form a complete unit. As each bag is installed it must be pushed hard into the previous bags to ensure that a continuous mat is assembled. Ensure all clips except those on the perimeter are used. Where the area of the floor to be covered by the final row of bags is smaller than the length or width of bag, simply allow the bag to curve up the perimeter wall. (This should direct a falling body on to the “Soft Landing System”). It is advisable to protect the perimeter of the SLS from falling mortar by means of strips of polythene, etc.
Once the bags are installed the “Foot Test” should be carried out. This is a simple way to check that the bags have been correctly installed. If the bags have been correctly installed you will be unable to push your foot in between the bags. (See Installation Guide). If the foot test fails, additional bags should be installed.
Installation at First Floor Joists.
Once the floor joists/flooring are fixed and brickwork has commenced, the bags can be used for protection on the first floor by passing them up through the stairwell opening. Alternatively a forklift truck fitted with our special stillage can be used to offer up the bags to the operatives standing on the scaffold. The stillage should be raised so that each layer of the bags can be pulled on to the scaffold over the
handrail on to the scaffold platform. (Note: – The bags weigh under 7kg and are easily handled by one man, however extra care should be taken in strong winds.) At first floor, it is recommended that the bags are laid on “Weather Deck” or similar weatherproof flooring or on temporary boarding. However if engineered “I beams” are used then weatherproof boarding should always be installed before using the bags. Particular care should be taken at stairwells which must be adequately boarded over to ensure that a firm base is in place for the bags as bags will not span a stairwell without support. Once a safe working platform is established, installation procedure is the same for Ground Floor.
Installation in Multi-Storey Buildings
Dependent on the construction method, installation of the bags follows the same basic procedures as above and in applicable where the fall potential is below 2.5 metres. If the fall potential exceeds 2.5 metres a further layer of bags will be required. In all cases the fall potential must be assessed in line with current legislation. It is essential that a safe working platform is in place for all the operatives passing the bags from one floor to another.
The Soft Landing System bags are very durable but should be treated with care to ensure a long life and must only be walked on where absolutely necessary. Continued compression will affect the efficiency of the energy-absorbing fill and thus reduce the active life expectancy of the bags. Bags should be stored undercover.
The out skin, inner bag and polystyrene fill are treated with flame retardant chemicals. However, the materials are not fireproof and will burn if exposed to sufficient heat and flame. It is, therefore, essential that bags are not exposed to these risks and kept secure from vandalism.
Handover / Supervision
We recommend that only competent Fall Protection personnel should carry out installation of the Soft Landing System. Once the installation is complete a designated person employed by the main contractor/developer should approve it in accordance with the Risk Assessment. Fall Protection Handover Certificates will be signed off by the Fall Protection operative and the contractors appointed person.
Where someone has fallen into the Soft Landing System the details of the fall should be reported to Fall Protection UK Limited so that we may analyse the data. This information may be useful in improving the design of the system.