A work positioning system uses equipment to allow a worker to carry out work at height whilst being supported in a full body harness to prevent a fall. These systems fall into administrative PPE categories in the control hierarchy.
A work positioning system uses equipment to prevent a fall by vertically suspending a worker in a harness and may require use in conjunction with a fall arrest system.
There are two primary work positioning uses: confined spaces and industrial rope access.
For work that may be required to be completed in a confined space, it may be suitable to lower a person into the environment utilising a man-rated mechanical winching system. This is also called working in suspension, as the person it literally suspended in the air when the tasks are being complete. Working in suspension in this way means that a rescue can be performed easily by a stand-by rescuer, winching the person to safety.
Industrial Rope Access
This method of access requires specialty equipment and more important significant training to be effective. As its name suggests, rope access involves the use of twin ropes – one which is the primary or main working rope line, the second being the redundant, secondary line that acts as an emergency line in the event the first working line fails. A rope access technician has the primary intention of accessing a location in a vertical plane, by positioning themselves to perform work whilst suspended in a harness.
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It is important to note that both these methods of work position require extensive training to ensure workers are qualified and competent to perform manoeuvres and undertake rescues.