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Tip of the Week No. 256 – 08/03/09 – Hazardous Falls


The following three elements combine to make a fall hazardous:
* Free-fall distance
* Shock absorption at impact
* Body weight

See “Intruction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 133.
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Tip of the Week No. 239 – 02/16/09 – Fall Exposure Hazards


Once they are classified, (fall) exposures are prioritized for control measures. To begin reducing the probability of a loss, those elevated work tasks that have high risk and are reasonably straightforward are tackled immediately.
For example, in the erection process of skeleton steel, the first fall hazard to be attacked is the exterior fall, perhaps by using perimeter cable or nets during the lay-out of the erection sequence. A new steel-girder bridge over a river could have a sequence of erection where nets and horizontal lifelines are installed onto beams at barge level.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” pages 300-301.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 231 – 12/08/08 – Elevated Work


Elevated work can be an integral part of a job or trade. Scalers, for example, whose job it is to remove built-up residue from tanks, digester, or vessels, are often exposed to fall hazards on an ongoing basis.
Other examples, often associated with construction or maintenance, include roofing, painting, sandblasting, pipe welding, masonry or bricklaying, and utility service work. Steel connectors also commonly work at great elevation.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 4.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 230 – 12/01/08 – Swing Fall


Swing Fall = A pendulumlike motion that can result from moving horizontally away from a fixed anchorage and falling with a PFAS.
Swing falls generate the same amount of energy as a fall through the same distance vertically, but with the additional hazard of colliding with an obstruction or the ground.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 435.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 222 – 10/06/08- Hazard Analysis


Work-method analysis (of fall hazards) should consider not only the location at which the task is performed but also the required travel to and from that workstation.
The objective is to gather enough information to determine the most practical means of continous protection without reducing productivity. Data may be gathered through on-site observation, questionnaires, interviews, and a review of literature.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 295.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 216 – 08/11/08 – Fall Hazards


Fall hazard distance begins at, and is measured from, the level of the workstation onto which a worker must initially step, and where a fall hazard exists.
It ends with the greatest distance of possible continuous fall, including steps, openings, projections, roofs and the direction of fall (interior or exterior).
Protection is required to keep workers from striking objects and to avoid pendulum swing, crushing and impact with any body part that is vulnerable to serious injury.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 3.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 195 – 01/28/08 – Hazards


Swing falls, roll-out and burst-out can be associated with the misuse or misapplication of equipment (e.g. equipment not used for its intended purpose): the use of safety belts for fall arrest, unattached harnesses, trailing lanyard snaphooks, equipment originally intended only for mountaineering use (such as sit harnesses), home or shop-made equipment, and mixing and matching different manufacturers’ equipment designs.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of hazards to be expected while using fall protection without adequate consideration of the consequences. It serves only as a guideline for further thought.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 326.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 151- 03/05/07 – Eliminating Fall Hazards


Eliminating fall hazards means finding a way to avoid the necessity of exposure to heights. This is the number one goal of fall protection.
If a hazard is eliminated, then workers are not put at risk.
For example, building a roof truss framework fully or partially at ground level, and lifting is into place, is better than assembling it in the air while standing on the framing.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 20.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 2 A – 12/15/03 – Fall Hazards


Good fall protection control calls for a prioritized system to tackle foreseeable fall hazards.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 20.
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Tip of the Week No. 1 A – 12/08/03 – Hazard Elimination


The architect/engineer is directly responsible for elimination of fall hazards on the drawing board.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 59.
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Tip of the Week No. 109 A – 05/08/06 – Unions


The United Auto Workers Union (UAW) has contributed greatly to controlling fall hazards at automobile plants in recent years by a willingness to research the solutions, write procedures and train the workforce using company funds.
The unions will play a special role in abatement of fall hazards at the worksite in the years ahead; there is nothing work in safety for safety’s sake.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 246.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 18 A – 04/05/04 Hazard Elimination


The search for fall hazard elimination begins with the architect/engineer. No other professional can do this work. It is incumbent upon the design professional to become aware of fall hazards so that during construction, maintenance, and demolition, the hazards can be eliminated or controlled. In this context, elimination means that the design or sequence of work does not include fall hazards.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 319.
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Tip of the Week No. 32 A – 07/12/04 Warnings


Warnings that clearly depict falling hazards are the first line of awareness for workers or inspectors exposed to fall hazards during equipment operation or maintenance. Going beyond warnings to propose the method of fall protection is an important goal for rig manufacturers.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page. 63.
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Tip of the Week No. 4 A – 12/29/03 – Hazard Elimination


Occupational fall protection is a back-up system planned for a worker who could lose his/her balance at a height; its purpose is to eliminate or control injury potential.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 3.
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Tip of the Week No. 50 A – 12/06/04 -Cutting Edges


The sharp edges often found on plate-glass window panes, angle irons and fabricated steel shapes can cut webbing or ropes instantly and disastrously. Parapets can abrade rope lifelines and nip points on swinging scaffold platforms can snag or cut the lifeline.

These various cutting hazards must be carefully analyzed by the employer and, where such cutting edges are found to be a realistic possibility, the lifeline must be protected, or changed, or the hazard eliminated. Conversely, steel cable lifelines may themselves be a cutting agent for glass-lined tanks or leading and trailing edges of aircraft wings. A synthetic lifeline could solve the potential problem.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” pages 189-190.
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Tip of the Week. No. 51 A – 12/13/04 – Heat Hazards


Ropes and webs in lifelines can be cut very quickly by careless torch handling or from a welding rod laid down on the steel next to the synthetic material.
And steel cable lifelines can ground out welding equipment by inadvertently burning wires.
Protection from these heat hazards, as well as welding flash is provided with a section of slit air hose or a leather cover. Kevlar or Nomex (registered trademarks of the DuPont Company) sleeves can be valuable aids in deflecting slag on all types of lanyards and lifelines, if specified by the employer.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 188.
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Tip of the Week No. 115 – 06/05/06 – Live Lines


Live-line transmission and distribution work calls for fall protection and arrest equipment systems to meet electrical resistance requirements similar to those of hand, arm, foot and climbing gear.
Ontario Hydro has proposed that testing should be done on wet lines and should not exceed a flow of 1 mA when 30 kV are applied over 1 foot.
Static electricty build-up and potential discharge to create a spark in mines, refineries and similar sites established the need for grounding and minimizing frictional static build-up caused by lines rubbing.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 188.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 101 – 02/20/06- Stairs


A loss of balance can occur from a slip or trip while an individual is traveling up or down a stairway.
The vast majority of falls occur when someone is moving down stairs and not holding the handrail. The additional danger of a stair-fall is that the victim can continue to move or “fall” down the remainder of the flight, potentially causing a mulitude of injuries.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 81.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Safety News Item – 01/20/06 – Fall Hazards in Rebuilding New Orleans Post Katrina


The daunting task of rebuilding New Orleans and the other areas devastated by the hurricanes of 2005 comes with its own set of dangers.

Many of the construction workers doing the rebuilding are unskilled and there is a large population that do not speak English. Much of the regular workforce from the area left as the hurricanes struck and have decided not to return. This has left contractors to find workers where ever they can, regardless of how unskilled, untrained or unsuitable for the work they may be.

Fall protection, or more appropriately the lack of it, is one area of real concern. In an article on www.workers.org Workers face many hazards in New Orleans The Fall Protection risks are described as:
In residential areas, many roof repair jobs are underway. The workers are not tied off for safety; other precautions to prevent falls are not being taken. Ironically, one site where roofers were seen without fall protection was the roof of a union hall.

Other workers in “cherry pickers” can be seen perilously close to live power lines. Their training in terms of safety has been scant and they often have not been given the protective gear they need. Many of these workers are Latin.


Tip of the Week No. 95- 01/09/06 – risk assessment


After identifying the individual elevated work tasks, appraising each exposure against a specific set of criteria enables the assessment of the relative risk.
At a minimum, the (qualitative risk) appraisal should include:
* a breakdown of vertical and horizontal movement
* the number of workers involved
* how often the task is performed
* the length of time typically spent on the task
* a general description of the workstation, with particular attention to potential obstructions in the fall path(s)
* a postfall analysis to review expected self-recovery or the possible need for retrieval and rescue
* identification of influential environmental conditions, such as icy or wet surfaces

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 296.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 92 – 12/12/05 – Fall Hazards


Holes are a huge fall hazard.
Workers can fall through holes as small as 14 inches square. They must be covered securely during construction and marked “HOLE: DO NOT REMOVE.”
When using a 4-by-8 foot, 3/4-thick plywood board becomes impractical, guardrails become necessary and, if these are opened to allow material transfer, a fall arrest system is required (possibly a restraint system, if no fall hazard access if possible).

Authorized work in holes is best protected with small nets under the hole.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 100.
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Tip of the Week No. 78 – 07/25/05 – Fall Hazard Analysis


Fall hazard analysis begins by listing the work tasks that involve or could involve exposure to an elevated fall hazard.
It is impossible to reemphasize that this should include travel. For example, a valve that must be monitored regularly is located in an elevated piperack and requires vertical and horizontal mobility for access and egress, but the actual work task may be stationary.
Other elevated work, such as painting or sand blasting, may require more mobility.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 296.
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Safety News Item – 03/04/05 – Identifying Fall Hazards


Identifying fall hazards is not as easy as it sounds. Many fall hazards are not obvious to the untrained eye or apparent from everyday use.

Occupational Hazards online magazine, with the assistance of Dr. J. Nigel Ellis, addressed this problem in a recent article. Go to Idenfifying Fall Hazards to find out more.


Tip of the Week No. 59 – 02/28/05 – Hidden Fall Hazards


Heavy physical items that demand an effort to move between, over or through frequently involve fall hazards (e.g. pipes, electric cable trays, HVAC ducts and wet areas).
Design of cable, pipe and utility chaseways requires careful planning and consistent follow-up because contractors may breach space requirements during installation or maintenance over the years.
A catwalk is imperative if the space allows 6.5 feet of standing room.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 84.
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Tip of the Week No. 58 – 02/21/05 – Warnings


Warnings that clearly depict falling hazards are the first line of awareness for workers or inspectors exposed to fall hazards during equipment operation or maintenance.
Going beyond warnings to propose the method of fall protection is an important goal for (rig) manufacturers.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 63.
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Tip of the Week No. 44 – 10/25/04 – Changes in floor levels.


A step or sudden change in floor level – from one or two inches up to a foot or more – that is not guarded or clearly identified can lead to falls and should be avoided, especially in high-traffic areas or around equipment where operator traffic is high. Color contrast at a leading edge promotes high visual awareness, provided added illumination is maintained.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 83.
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Tip of the Week No. 10 – 02/16/04. Hazards.


There is no reason to ship fall hazards to customers!

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 64.
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Tip of the Week No. 9 – 02/09/04. Building Life.


It is unacceptable to ignore exposure to fall hazards at any time during the life cycle of the building or structure.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 53.
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Requirements for protection of rebar posing fall impaling hazard!


The small rounded orange caps are no longer allowed because they provide insufficient protection. Boxed planking is permitted to meet 1926.701(b). OSHA made reference to the California Standards Board notice on rebar hazards. Subsequently, OSHA permitted 3″x3″ rebar caps since they have a larger surface area than the previous rounded designs which can insert themselves into the body according to OSHA. Exhibitors at the Construction Safety Council, Chicago, 2/99, showed a plastic rebar fitting that can hold a 2″x4″ for bulk protection. Ironworkers who are allowed to shin down the column to physically bend rebar below had still better be thinking about fall protection methods up on the steel instead of impalement dangers down below!


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #12


Tip of the Week No.240:
Warnings that clearly depict falling hazards are the first line of awareness for workers or inspectors exposed to fall hazards during equipment operation or maintenance. Going beyond warnings to propose the method of fall protection is an important goal for equipment manufacturers.
Excerpt from Chapter 3 – Who Needs Fall Protection? Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #17


Tip of the Week No. 245:
Those companies which make material-handling or access equipment are at risk if they have not considered fall hazards and escape modes from buckets, platforms, oil rigs, tanks, racks, crane cabs, and scaffolds during both erection and subsequent maintenance procedures.
Warnings that clearly depict falling hazards are the first line of awareness for workers or inspectors exposed to fall hazards during equipment operation or maintenance. Going beyond warnings to propose the method of fall protection is an importan goal for equipment manufacturers.
p>Excerpt from Chapter 3 – Who Needs Fall Protection? Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #21


Tip of the Week No. 249:
It should be noted that head injuries occur in approximately 10 percent of falls. It is the author’s (Dr. J. Nigel Ellis) experience that when illumination is decreased, such as dusk or when a worker is coming out of bright sunlight and into a darker area, head injuries dramatically increase – for same level or lower level falls, such as falls on stairs.
Excerpt from Chapter 6 – Active Fall Protection Systems. Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #3


Tip of the Week No. 321
In almost any aerial project where fall hazards exist, the first worker up assumes the greatest risk of falling. In addition, that worker is often responsible for attaching the fall arrest equipment that will be used by other workers and, perhaps, other trades.
To accomplish this task without exposing the first up to unnecessary risk, a plan is required before the work begins. Workers should be involved in discussions on available systems and their work methods to determine the best-suited fall protection.
Excerpt from Chapter 3 – Who Needs Fall Protection? Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #43


Tip of the Week No. 271:
The search for fall-hazard elimination begins during construction or renovation with the architect/engineer in charge. No other professional can do this work. It is incumbent upon the design professional to become aware of fall hazards so that the hazards can be eliminated or controlled during construction, maintenance, and demolition. In this context, elimination means that the design substitution or sequence of work does not include fall hazards.
Excerpt from Chapter 10 – Equipment Selection, Inspection and Maintenance. Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #46


Tip of the Week No. 274:
Controlling a fall hazard begins by setting specific objectives defined by the elements of the hazard itself. For example, to control the energy generated through a fall, the free-fall distance ideally should not exceed 2 feet. Aditionally, reducing the total fall distance (free fall plus deceleration distance) can help decrease the possibility of striking an obstruction within the fall path.
Excerpt from Chapter 6 – Active Fall Protection Systems; Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition No. #36


Tip of the Week No. 264:
The search for fall-hazard elimination begins during construction or renovation with the architect/engineer in charge. No other professional can do this work. It is incumbent upon the design professional to become aware of fall hazards so that the hazards can be eliminated or controlled during construction, maintenance, and demolition. In this context, elimination means that the design substitution or sequence of work does not include fall hazards.
Excerpt from Chapter 10 – Equipment Selection, Inspection and Maintenance. Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition. Watch this website for more information about the publication date and how you can order your copy.


Tip of the Week No. 268 – 01/18/10 – Fall Hazards


The following elements combine to make a fall hazardous:
1. Free-fall distance
2. Shock absorption at impact
3. Body weight

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 133.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 272 – 02/15/10 – Fall Hazards


Classifying related work tasks can assit in the development of elevated fall hazard control measures.
As in the appraisal process, a list of criteria is compiled. “Climbing on fixed structures,” for instance, could be used to group all fixed ladder climbing, regardless of whether the ladder was on a building, piperack, tank, or chimney.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 299.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 283 – 05/24/ 2010 – Foreseeable Hazards


Now is the time for employers with recurring fall hazard exposures to appoint a Competent Person to evaluate site fall hazards. This individual should be familiar with fall protection methods and their limitations, and should be authorized to abate the foreseeable hazard before it is actually observed.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 339.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 283 – 06/07/10 – Climbing Hazards


Three-point control is an excellent principle for climbing (three of the four human limbs attached securely to the climbing structure while moving), but the fact remains that little or no backup safety exists, either for climbing or working fall hazards.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 245.

This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 293 – 09/06/10 – Swing falls, roll-out and burst-out hazards


Swing falls, roll-out and burst-out, can be associated with the misuse or misapplication of equipment (i.e., equipment not used for its intended purpose): the use of safety belts for fall arrest, unattached harnesses, trailing lanyard snaphooks, equipment originally intended only for mountaineering use (such as sit harnesses), home-or-shop-made equipment, and mixing and matching different manufacturer’s equipment design.
Note this is not an exhaustive list of hazards to be expected while using fall protection without adequate consideration of the consequences. It serves only as a guideline for further thought.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 326.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 318 – 05/02/2011 – Fall and Slip Hazards


Motor oil, water, snow, ice, and all spills need to be removed frequently and rapidly from floors, doorways, entrances, walkways, and other areas where employees or the public will travel.
Floor mats can ripple and slide if they ae not heavy duty or recessed. Grooving and gritting can help with wet or slippery steps and grating helps in other cases.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 79.
This book is an invaluable resource for every safety manager’s library. Click here to find out about ordering a copy. Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 321 – 06/18/2012 – Slips


As a person moves along a walkway, there is a relationship between the supporting surface and the contacting surface of the foot or foot gear. When the friction between these two surfaces is inadequate, a sliding motion – a slip – results. This slip, in turn, can lead to a loss of balance, and a fall.
See Introduce to Fall Protection, 4th Edition page 14.
Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition now available for purchase. To order your copy call 1-800-372-7775 or order online at Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition Orders.


Tip of the Week No. 327 – 08/27/2012 – Fall Hazard Survey


The fall-hazard survey report must provie the program administrator and others with pertinent information as to the type of fall hazard, the basic configuration of the fall hazard (with graphics and drawings if necessary), the exposure rating (high, medium, low), the frequency of the job, the height of the potential fall, obstructions in the potential fall path, the suggested corrective solution(s), environmental factors that may influence equipment selection or use, and the type of rescue equipment (if any) to be used.
When many different types of hazards are encountered, the survey should include a comprehensive list of the fall hazards from highest priority to lowest priority. The fall hazard survey report should be revised and rewritten whenever there is a change to the task, process, structure, equipment, legislation that would render past surveys obsolete.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 400.
Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition now available for purchase. To order your copy call 1-800-372-7775 or order online at Introductionto Fall Protection, 4th Edition Orders.


Tip of the Week No. 347 – 01/14/2013 – Hazards


Scaffold manufacturers should detail full fall protection methods during erection in their instructions. Scissors-lift manufacturers, recognizing that workers may use the midrailings as a ladder rung to reach up to and in between an obstruction, may decide that a grating or mesh could be installed to limit this fall-exposure tendency. However, it also makes sense for manufacturers to specify personal fall protection systems for overreaching or leaning over guardrails.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 86.
Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition now available for purchase. To order your copy call 1-800-372-7775 or order online at Introductionto Fall Protection, 4th Edition Orders.


Tip of the Week No. 349 – 01/28/2013 – Last Worker Down


Similarly, the last worker down, having detached the fall arrest equipment, is also exposed to a fall hazard. Protection can sometimes be achieved by threading ropes through suitably rounded shackles. This way, the end of the lifeline accessible at ground level can be used to pull the rope through when the work is complete. Alternatively, if the structure will be climbed in the future for maintenance, a permanent climbing system should be installed. Then the last worker down can use this system to remove temporary equipment before making the final descent.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 80.
Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition now available for purchase. To order your copy call 1-800-372-7775 or order online at Introductionto Fall Protection, 4th Edition Orders.


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