Just being picky… “This may include a safety net, guardrail or fall-arrest system.” probably should have a comma after guardrail. Sounds great though.
From what I understand, it’s optional whether you should have a comma before the “or”. The way I see it though, it’s not needed, and here’s why - remove the first item in the list, which in this case is “safety net”. Now would it look weird for there to be any comma at all? I’d say so. Why have two commas in a three-item list when you would have no commas at all in a two item list?
If you notice, all of the articles are written with this rule, although I think in general people do not follow it. None of these make it to the articles page without Kate seeing them first and she hasn’t changed it yet…I’ll send this link to her right now and see what she thinks. She is the final word!
Rob has asked me to weigh in, and he also referred to me as “Queen Tarasenko,” so I’m going to side with him! But, seriously…
There are many rules about commas, and some are actually flexible. (And some are not.) This one is flexible, and although most of us were pummelled in school with the convention that Harry is referring to, the rule that I follow here is to omit the serial comma, which is the comma that separates the last two (brief/similar) items in a series. This stems from my journalism background, where use of the serial comma is rare. However, for clarity’s sake, if the items in the series are lengthy, I will make sure there is a serial comma in play.
Here are two examples of what I mean:
- no serial comma required:
He ate an Almond Joy, Snickers and Butterfinger all in one sitting.
- serial comma preferred:
After he ate all the candy bars, he burped, then accidentally let one rip, and then fell into a carbo-coma.
I do indeed proof/edit all of Rob’s and Nick’s articles (and I’m steadily making my way through all of our courses and final exams), but we certainly appreciate our eagle-eyed critics – that’s why Nick requests feedback.
(However, in matters relating to punctuation and grammar, prepare to throw down with the “Queen”! \:D/)
Fall-arrest systems do not “reduce the possibility for trip and fall hazards.” They reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death associated with a fall.
This statement is heavily dependant on what type of job you’re referring to;
“They reduce the need for outdoor railings and scaffolds which get in the way of the job, and provide only incomplete protection by themselves.”
Railings and such are not fall-arrest systems, they are fall-prevention systems. The two really can’t be compared.
Just my opinion. . .
Made a correction, thanks Jeff
Happy to help. . .