best way to address fall protection issues is to take a
Systems Approach when evaluating your work environment.
Virtually every fall protection problem can be solved by
considering the basic components of a Personal Fall Arrest
With rare exception, a worker's body support always includes
a full body harness. Belts and boatswain’s chairs
can be used for positioning and suspension respectively,
but are generally not acceptable for vertical fall arrest.
When selecting a full body harness you should consider variables
such as the number and placement of D-rings required to
complete your work. The back D-ring is almost always the
fall protection attachment point. Hip D-rings are used for
positioning or restraint, but not for fall protection. Shoulder
D-rings are used in conjunction with a yoke and spreader
bar to lift and lower workers in special situations (such
as when an SCBA is worn during a task. Chest D-rings are
used lifting, lowering, suspension, and rescue. Chest D-rings
are only allowed to be used for fall arrest when using a
ladder safety system. Other issues may involve comfort (shoulder
and back pads are available), the need for tool belts and
style of leg strap.
This refers to what type of shock absorbing lanyard is used
to connect the worker to his anchorage point. The most common
examples of these items are: shock absorbing lanyards, self
retracting lifelines, rope and cable grabs. Federal OSHA
requires that the maximum arrest force allowed for a worker
wearing a full body harness is 1,800 lbs. With the exception
of our "Force 2" foot level tie off lanyard, DBI/SALA
manufactures its products to comply with ANSI Z359.1. This
is a voluntary standard that limits the allowable maximum
arrest force to 900 lbs or less. The main selection issue
for a connecting component is that it must provide continuous
protection to a worker who is at risk of falling. Self retracting
lifelines and vertical rope grab systems enable workers
to span a large vertical range of motion. Twin Lanyards
allow workers to move from one anchor point to another in
any direction. Horizontal lifelines give the worker an extended
of motion on the same horizontal plane.
The anchor connector is the device you use to connect your
personal fall arrest system to the structure or anchorage.
Uncertified anchorages must have a minimum static strength
rating of 5,000 lbs per worker. OSHA?standards permit "certified"
or "engineered" anchorage strengths of two times
the system's maximum arrest force per worker. End users
are advised to seek professional engineering services when
a certified anchorage is required. The major selection issues
for anchor connectors are strength compatibility with both
the structure and personal fall arrest system range of motion
requirements and environmental elements that may damage
certain materials. Examples of anchor connectors include:
Anchor straps, I-beam clamps, roof anchors, trolleys, and
Work positioning systems will hold and sustain the user
at a work location and limit free falls to less than two
feet. If a fall hazard exists then the user is required
to use fall arrest components in addition to his positioning
system. Rebar tying and concrete wall-form work are typical
applications. A workseat can also be added for additional
support. A carabiner or snap hook connector is used to fasten
to the anchorage, generally rebar or a support structure.
Use a suspension system to support and hold you without
any possibility of a free fall while you are being raised
or lowered. Boatswain's chair jobs, such as painting or
window washing, are common examples.
Fall arrest systems are typically used to protect workers
when they are six feet or more above the ground. For maximum
safety, all of our fall arrest systems are designed to limit
the maximum arresting forces to 900 lbs. or less—half
of the OSHA standard of 1,800 pounds. Typical fall arrest
applications include steel erection, suspended-platform
activities, and elevated maintenance work. Products include:
fully body harness for body support, a connecting component
such as a shock absorbing lanyard, self-retracting lifeline,
or rope grab, an anchorage connector such as a carabiner,
tie-off adapter, trolley or beam clamp and a solid anchorage,
such as an I-beam or another type of support structure.
Restraint systems prevent you from reaching an area where
a free fall could occur. Leading edge roof work typically
calls for a restraint system. A proper restraint system
includes: a rope or web lanyard connecting component. For
secure anchorage, restraint systems use an anchorage connector
such as an anchorage plate with a D-ring or a support structure
that connects to the lanyard with a carabiner or snap hook.
Rescue systems are designed to raise or lower you to safety
in an emergency without any possibility of a free fall.
Rescue systems are typically used in confined space work,
such as underground utility projects or tank maintenance.
Rescue systems include a full body harness and/or a rescue
cradle connected to a winch, self-retracting lifeline, rescue
positioning device. That is then connected directly to an
anchorage I-beam, to the ground or to an anchorage connector
such as a tripod, davit arm, carabiner or tie-off adapter.
Use body belts for inspection work, construction and demolition,
maintenance, oil production, and any other activities where
one needs to be restrained from a leading edge or where
there is to add a body belt to most harnesses for added
back support and versatility. Remember, NEVER use body belts
in situations where there is any chance of a free fall!
Federal law requires the use of a separate harness and lifeline
with suspension supports. Reference OSHA standards.) To
comply with federal law, the full body harness must include
a back D-ring for connection with an independent lifeline
and must incorporate a fall arrest subsystem that will limit
the maximum free fall to six feet or less and limit the
maximum arresting force to 1,800 lbs. or less.
© 2003 DBI/SALA. All rights reserved. This information
is provided “as is” and is not to be considered
a warranty of product performance or as an authoritative informational
page. Due to the diverse field conditions and other variables
which can affect a product’s performance, Calolympic
Safety disclaims all warranties (expressed and implied) as
to any product’s performance or any information provided.
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