Falling while functioning at elevation represents the number one reason of death in the construction industry and also the number two cause in general industry.

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Experience has shown us that human being seem to be making the same basic mistakes while managing work at height.

The target of this series is to share our observations, in order come correct these deficiencies and also develop far better practices while working at height.

Listed listed below are several of the problems typically encountered while functioning at height:

Underestimating the “falling in ~ work” problem Automatically selecting fall arrest as the control technique of choice Lack of expertise of the equipment and also its application Inability to rescue workers once they’ve fallen Misunderstanding 2 of the straightforward skills in autumn protection Improper usage of autumn protection v ladders and also aerial lifts

Personal autumn Protection systems (PFPS) are made up of 3 components. It’s important to recognize not only the demands of each component, but just as importantly, exactly how the contents work together as a system. A PFPS is a system that 3 singular item working with each other to save the worker safe.


Like a chain, if the end user selects an untrue component, or over there is an incompatible connection, the link fails and the chain breaks.

It’s an important that the end user know each the the components. It’s additionally recommended that the components come native the same manufacturer.

When us select an individual protective equipment as our control measure, it’s instantly thought the the devices will it is in configured in a fall arrest mode. The doesn’t have to be the case.

First component of a autumn Arrest System: Anchors

There room two main kinds that anchor points:


Permanent loss Arrest Anchor

A permanent anchor would be mounted in a location where a worker would certainly regularly work-related (providing we can’t redesign the work, install a guardrail or use autumn restraint).


Temporary loss Arrest Anchorage Connector

A temporary anchor would be set up in a place where a worker would rarely go, or with a job of a quick duration (e.g. Where it would take much longer to install an anchor 보다 to carry out the really job).

Industry requirements

OSHA 1926.500 autumn Arrest Anchor Requirements:

Structurally, we have 2 options available for loss arrest anchors:

5,000 lbs every worker attached; or 2 x the best arrest force (MAF) if utilizing an engineered device designed by a qualified human being

ANSI Z359 fall Arrest Anchor Requirements:

Certified: 2 x MAF (approved by a standard person) Non-certified: 5,000 lbs every worker (competent human approval)

Note: mental the maximum arrest force (MAF) allowed is 1,800 lbs.

Two Other an essential Considerations with autumn Arrest Anchors

1. System Compatibility

The shape of the autumn arrest anchor have to be compatible with the snap hook the attaches come it. The “rule of thumb” says, if the snap hook can not pass v the anchor hardware, climate the opportunity exists that the snap hook gate can be overloaded and also “burst out”.

For example, the pre-2007 ANSI Z359 standard allowed snap hooks come be approved if the gate would organize a pack of 220lbs come the face and 350lbs to the side of the gate. If one were utilizing a shock absorber and also could generate approximately 900lbs, this would certainly exceed the 350lbs the the gate was design for. Together a result, the gate would break, or as it’s to be termed, “burst out”

The snap hook gate (or keeper) have the right to be overloaded and also “burst out” if the anchor allude and snap hook space not compatibly shaped.

Always inspect for compatibility by attempting to happen the snap hook v the anchor hardware. If it won’t pass through, don’t connect.

This problem has been partially alleviated through the latest variation of the ANSI Z359 standard. This standard needs that snap hook gateways be rated for 3,600lbs in any type of direction.

Keep in mind the the ANSI traditional is voluntary and also the older format snap hooks may still exist.


Traditional Snap Hook Gate

Traditional snap hook through the gate rated to the previous ANSI Z359 standard. The door was design to hold a pack of 220lbs to the face and 350 lbs come the side.


ANSI Z359 Snap Hook Gate

The current ANSI Z359 standard needs that the gate on the snap hook be designed so the it will organize a pack of up to 3,600lbs. Through this snap hook, shape is no longer an issue.

2. Anchor Location

Ideally, you desire to install her anchor directly overhead. There room 2 crucial reasons because that this:

the greater the anchor suggest the shorter the complimentary fall; and anchoring overhead eliminates the “pendulum” effect

Walking out from under your anchor could reason you come swing have to you fall. You can hit a wall or column. This is likewise called the “pendulum effect”.

Always attempt to affix to one anchor straight overhead.

Drawing Courtesy the Nigel Ellis

Typical connecting devices (i.e. Shock soaking up lanyards, retractables, etc) are designed come be provided in a fall arrest device that doesn"t exceed a 6 foot complimentary fall. For example, an steel worker that demands to usage the beam at his feet as anchor point, would experience an approximate free fall the 12 feet. "Standard" shock taking in lanyards or retractables room not designed to experience complimentary falls of this magnitude.

The problem lies in the reality that numerous real civilization applications (like the one described above) call for anchor points below the exploit dorsal D Ring. This method exceeding totally free falls that 6 feet. Manufacturers have actually designed products (examples encompass the müller Max shock soaking up lanyard and the DBI Sala Nano-Lok leaf retractable lifeline) that are equipped to experience cost-free falls as much as 12 feet.

End users should be trained so that they recognize the limitations of their equipment and how to select the correct tools for the task with i m sorry they"re involved.

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Finally, anchors should be mounted in a ar where the finish user isn’t put at danger in order to connect to the anchor.

Anchors should be set up in a place that would help you, quite than hinder you, in a rescue attempt.