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Tip of the Week No. 258 – 09/07/09 – Fixed Rail System


When the fixed rail system is installed overhead, it can be used in conjunction with a retracting lifeline for greater protected vertical mobility.
For pipebacks in particular, regularly frequented areas can be more economically safeguarded when outfitted with a lightweight, fiberglass accessway and rail system than with a full, guarded walkway. Other areas may include cable trays, conveyors, vessels, tanks, or loading docks.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 178.
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. 255 – 07/27/09 – Proper Harness Use


Color coding the top and bottom harness straps can help workers put the harness on more quickly and easily, with less frustration. Waist or rib straps, which encircle the body, determine harness sizes.
Finally, a sliding, back D-ring can help absorb force and position the body upright for optimal support during and after an arrest. This is particularly helpful for vertical retrieval through confined space openings.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 157.
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. 254 – 07/20/09 – Lifeline Forces


Unless the fall event occurs directly underneath the horizontal lifeline, additional lateral loadings will be produced on the anchorages due to offset from the lifeline centerline.
The magnitude of these forces is directly related to the offset distance and should be set equal to the maximum vertical load encountered on the line for the total number of workers on the system. This load shall be applied in either direction at the end anchorage for analysis and design purposes.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 232.
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. 250 – 06/22/09 – Full Body Harnesses


As opposed to a narrow body belt around the soft, vulnerable midsection, a full body harness is designed to distribute arresting forces primarily over the buttocks and, to some extent, over the thighs, chest and shoulders.
It can provide proper body support during an arrest, as well as during suspension after a fall. A harness also helps eliminate the excessive whipping of the neck associated with long free-fall arrests in a body belt.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 136.
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. 248 – 06/08/09 – Cable Forces


The cable forces at the end posts or supports of multiple-span horizontal lifelines are conservatively assumed to be equivalent to those of the single span.
Intermediate posts are utilized in long spans to support the weight of the cable, as well as vertical and frictional horizontal forces sustained during fall arrest. These posts are designed for the horizontal and vertical loads previously determined from the single-span configuration.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 229.
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. 238 – 02/09/09- Permanent Lifelines


Permanent horizontal lifeline systems should be designed to last as long as the structure to which they are attached. They can consist of a 1/4-inch-by-2-inch rigid, horizontal rail or cable that allows a lightweight trolley to slide easily with the worker.
Since these are attached to the structure at regular intervals, the rail/cable system can accommodate several workers simultaneously (one trolley per worker). Special sections can allow the trolley to go continuously around corners so workers do not have to disconnect.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 177.
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. 235 – 01/19/09 – Lifelines


Semipermanent lifeline systems are designed to provide service for months to several years. A lightweight, synthetic cable can be tensioned in a near-horizontal plane to provide continuous, protected mobility.
Heavier aircraft cable or wire cable, however, requires careful engineering for proper installation, including the sag, tension and diameter of the cable relative to the length of the span and number of users.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 178.
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. 225 – 10/27/08 – Horizontal Lifelines


Unless the fall event occurs directly underneath the horizontal lifeline, additional lateral loadings will be produced in the anchorages due to offset from the lifeline centerline.
The magnitude of these forces is directly related to the offset distance and should be set equal to the maximum vertical load encountered in the line for the total number of workers on the system. This load shall be applied in either direction at the end anchorage for analysis and design purposes.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 232.
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. 218 – 09/08/08 – Lifelines


Another caution: the running of retracting lifelines on horizontal lifelines requires reasonably taut lines so that these devices can run freely overhead to maximize swing-fall consequences – unlike for attachment of lanyards.
A cable sag approximately 5 feet from a termination of approximately 12 inches or less has been shown to give smooth running, which rules out catenary suspensions.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 237.
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. 215 – 07/28/08 – Fall Arrest Equipment


Never use fall arrest equipment as a work tool unless your equipment is specifically designed for work positioning. If it is used, for example, to lean back on, you must have a fall arrest system in addition to the work-positioning equipment.
Sometimes harnesses can incorporate features for fall arrest and work positioning that do not conflict in their separate uses.

See “Introducion to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 323.
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. 207 – 05/19/08 – Cable Forces


The cable forces at the end posts or supports of multiple-span horizontal lifelines are conservatively assumed to be equivalent to those of the single span.
Intermediate posts are utilized in long spans to support the weight of the cable, as well as vertical and frictional horizontal forces sustained during fall arrest. These posts are designed for the horizontal and vertical loads previously determined for the single-span configuration.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 229.
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. 191 – 12/31/07 – Roll -Out


Roll- Out:
The unintentional disengagement of a nonlocking snaphook caused by the gate being depressed under torque or contact while twisting or turning.
When attached to an incompatible object, roll-out results in a catastrophic fall.

Ellis Fall Safety Solutions and Ellis Litigation Support wishes a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all our friends, colleagues and customers!!

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 433.
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. 189 – 12/17/07 – Harnesses


Harnesses today ae very different from the cumbersome, heavy-duty designs of the past. They are light for almost all applications.
A full body harness (sometimes still called a parachute harness) can distribute arresting forces over the seat and shoulders as opposed to the soft, vulnerable mid-section is preferred. A harness without a waist belt helps ensure unrestricted breathing, while an extra seat strap spreads attesting forces on the most suitable part of the body, the buttocks, and provides additional support during suspension.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 157.
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. 182 – 10/22/07 – HLL Support Requirement


The horizonal life line (HLL) must support 5,000 pounds per person, applied perpendicularly to the line. This assumes that all persons dynamically compound the force in a few milleseconds’ range of time and that forces may approach 5,000 pounds in a single-person fall.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 235.
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. 180 – 10/08/07 – HLL loads


Unless the fall event occurs directly underneath the horizontal lifeline, additional lateral loadings will be produced in the anchorages due to offset from the lifeline centerline.
The magnitude of these forces is directly related to the offset distance and should be set equal to the maximum vertical load encountered in the line for the total number of workers on the system.
This load shall be applied in either direction at the end anchorage for analysis and design purposes.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 232.
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. 178 – 09/24/07 – Harnesses


A full-body harness can distribute arresting forces over more appropriate areas of the body, such as up under the buttocks and, to some extent, over the thighs, shoulders and chest.
A harness with a sliding, back D-ring can also provide proper upright support, both during and after a fall arrest. An absence of a waist belt enables unrestricted breathing.
Rigid discipline on anchorage-point designation is required, since the harness D-ring is at least 1 foot higher than the belt D-ring. Therefore, anchorages need to be above shoulder height, as opposed to waist height for belt use.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 182.
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. 177 – 09/17/07 – Snaphooks


All snaphooks must incorporate a self-locking design. Screw-gates are not effective.
Never use a snaphook if it does not operate in perfect condition, even if it is without apparent damage or visiable stress. All snaphooks must meet OSHA requirements and should be inspected before each use.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 109.
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. 173 – 08/20/07 – Lifeline Systems


The two major types of lifeline systems, vertical and horizontal, can function independently or be integrated to provide two-dimensional fall protection.
Lifeline systems are for emergency use only. They are never an excuse for not providing proper access or work platforms.
For example, if a lifeline system is typically held by workers to support their balance, it is no longer being used as a lifeline; it is being used for work positioning.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 164.
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. 170 – 07/23/07 – Climbing Methods


Climbing while using two lanyards is a process of last resort; it interferes with vital hand-grip sequence, unduly tires the climber, and subjects him or her to nonapproved anchor points, such as corroded rung welds and weakened struts.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 171.
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. 167 – 06/25/07 – Swing Falls


Horizontal line are designed to help minimize the potential for dangerous “pendulumlike” swing falls that can result from moving laterally away from a fixed anchorage point.
Swing falls can generate the same forces as falling an equal distance vertically, but present the additional hazard of striking an obstruction.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 177.
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. 155 – 04/02/07 – HLL


Horizontal lifelines are to be carefully designed to counter sag and end-force in their site-specific use.
A 5,000-pound vertical lifeline may by an adequate design for vertical falls, but it is morely likely that 15,000 pounds is a minimum break-strength for a horizontal system with minimal sag.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 168 and all of Chapter 7.
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. 149 – 02/19/07 – Swing Fall


The angle of a worker’s line should be kept at less than 45 degrees to the vertical, minimizing swing fall injuries should a fall occur. (Note: review manufacturer’s instructions).
Swinging loads can cause injuries or tipping. Tag lines are strongly recommended.
Keep anchorage points higher by following the proper sequence of erection and matching the work methods.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 99.
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. 148 – 02/12/07 – FAS Inspections


Like all equipment at a worksite, fall arrest systems need to be inspected and maintained regularly. Moreover, because they are safety systems designed to prevent serious or fatal injury, visual inspections before each use and periodic inspections and maintenance by a Competent Person are vital.
This should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and written plant procedures.
Visual inspections before each use generally require a check for cracks, cuts, dents, distortion and excessive wear, as well as for proper operation. If defective or questionable conditions are found, the item should immediately be removed from service, tagged and replaced.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 309.
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. 144 – 01/15/07 – Lifeline Cable


Semipermanent lifeline systems are designed to provide service from months to several years. A lightweight, synthetic cable can be tensioned in a near-horizontal plane to provide continuous, protected mobility.
Heavier aircraft cable or wire cable, however, requires careful engineering for proper installation, including the sag, tension and diameter of the cable relative to the length of the span and the number of users.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 178.
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. 136 – 11/20/06 – Posts in Horizontal Lifeline Systems


The cable forces at the end posts or supports of multiple-span horizontal lifelines are conservatively assumed to be equivalent to those of the single span. Intermediate posts are utilized in long spans to support the weight of the cable, as well as vertical and frictional horizontal forces sustained during fall arrest.
These posts are designed for the horizontal and vertical loads previously determined for the single-span configuration. The issue that arises concerns the clearance envelope.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 229.
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. 129 – 10/02/06 – Harness Chest Straps


[Harness]Chest straps between the shoulder strap should be worn above the breastline by both men and women, but below the collarbone, which limits any choking hazard after a fall.
Once secured, this strap can be worn “loose” to avoid strap abrasion on the neck and chest (especially for women).
Additionally, circumferential designs typically are very painful under the arms during suspension and the harness acts more as a belt during fall arrest.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 157.
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. 128 – 09/25/06 – Snaphooks


All snaphooks must incorporate a self-locking design. Screw-gates are not effective.
Never use a snaphook if it does not operate in perfect condition, even if it is without any apparent damage or visible stress.
All snaphooks must meet OSHA requirements and should be inspected before each use.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 109.
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. 127 – 09/18/06 – Lifeline Systems


The two major types of lifeline systems, vertical and horizontal, can function independently or be integrated to provide two-dimensional fall protection.
Lifeline systems are for emergency use only. They never are an excuse fro not providing proper access or work platforms. For example, if a lifeline system is typically held by workers to support their balance, it is no longer being used as a lifeline, it is being used for work positioning.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 164.
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 – 08/21/06 – Lifelines


One exception to the independent lifeline requirement for each worker is supplementing each rope with a separate line equipped with an automatic locking device.
In this case, attachment to a sufficiently strong, scaffold structural member could be adequate (determined by an engineering review). Horizontal lines across the back of the scaffold and sliding attachments for short lanyards assit mobility while protecting against falls over the side.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 95.
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 – 07/14/06 – Human Factors and PFAS


An article by B. Kohlis and A. Shekar in the Spring 2006 issue of “Ergonomics in Design” discusses how the need to have better ergonomicaly designed and, therefore, more user-friendly fall arrest equipment is critical.

The authors,working in New Zealand, relate that the purpose of their project was to design a work overalls with a safety harnesses actually integrated. The integrated harness was seen as desirable because workers often complained that standard harnesses were uncomfortable, ill-fitting, difficult to put on and not “macho”.

After a number of protypes, tests and trials and user input the Fraseon harness-overalls system was developed. The authors report that this system is more comfortable, easier to put on and provides extra storage while providing the fall arrest protection. They report that this product has received the endorsement from Occupational Safety and Health and the New Zealand Master Builders Association.


Tip of the Week No. 119 – 07/10/06 – Body Belts


Leather, which has been prohibited for body belts by ANSI A10.14, OSHA 1926.500 and OSHA 1910.66, Appendix C, has been replaced with more durable synthetic webbings, such as nylon and polyester.
Belt widths typically range from 1.75 inches to 4 inches or more. A wider belt provides more support and comfort during work and before a fall arrest.
However, experience has shown the overall benefit is small when the fall actually occurs.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 155.
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. 25 A – 05/24/04 Belts


Work-positioning belts can still be used in addition to full body harnesses to assist in reaching a workstation. The ANSI Z359 Committee has not recognized body belts for fall arrest.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” pagge 154.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 3 A – 12/22/03 – Swings Falls


Swing falls can be controlled in at least two ways. First, using an appropriate horizontal lifeline can help maintain the attachment point overhead, thereby allowing the fall arrest to occur in a vertical plane. Second, raising the height of the anchor point can reduce the angle of the arc and the force of the swing.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 183.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 33 A – 07/19/04 HLL


Horizontal lifelines are to be carefully designed to counter sag and end-force in their site-specific use. A 5,000 pound veritical lifeline may an an adequate design for vertical falls, but it is more likely that 15,000 pounds is a minimum break-strength for a horizontal system with minimal sag.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 168.
How about ordering a copy for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 52 A – 12/20/04 – Snaphooks


Considering the use of mountaineering snaphooks and harnesses in an industrial fall arrest system is a lure few industry people can resist, usually because of attractive, lightweight, low-cost designs.
However, it is potentially dangerous to consider equipment components that have not been designed into an industrial fall equipment system and approved as such by a competent supplier.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 187.
How about ordering a copy for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 57 A – 01/31/05 – Swing Falls


Swing falls can be controlled in at least two ways.
First, using an appropriate horizontal lifeline can help maintain the attachment point overhead, thereby allowing the fall arrest to occur in a vertical plane.
Second, raising the height of the anchor point can reduce the angle of the arc and the force of the swing.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 183.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 64 A – 03/28/05 -Descent Control


Descent devices installed at roof level may be used over parapets if an acceptable access means is provided. If little or no parapet exists, the cable or rope loadline will lie across the edge of the structure as the descent progresses.
This hazard (cutting edge and low anchorage, effective access) can be reduced by the use of a “Controlled Descent Apparatus” (CDA) that regulates the rooftop use of these systems and requires strength for use, similar to suspended scaffolds.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 194.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 80 A – 07/25/05 – Lifelines


Semipermanent lifeline systems are designed to provide service from months to several years.
A lightweight, synthetic cable can be tensioned in a near-horizontal plane to provide continuous, protected mobility.
Heavier aircraft cable or wire cable, however, requires careful engineering for proper installation, including the sag, tension and diameter of cable relative to the length of the span and the number of users.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 178.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 83 A – 08/29/05 – Locking Snaphooks


Locking (orginally called double-locking) snaphooks that require two separate forces to open the gate can significantly reduce the potential for accidental disengagement or roll-out.

If the hook is twisted momentarily against its attachment point during a fall, the gatekeeper is designed to keep the gate locked, thus deflecting the load from the gate to the main strength-beam’s hook components.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 186.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 85 A – 09/19/05 – Cables


Vertical Cable Systems:Flexible, cable-type, climbing safety systems are suitable for lower heights, such as illumination or communication poles and underground shafts, provided frequent inspections are conducted, preferably from an aerial lift.

Cable devices are either captive or removable from the cable.
Removable devices that involve the minimum of pins and parts, requiring only one hand for installation, are preferred.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 249.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 87 A – 10/03/05 – SRLs


Automatic self-retracting lanyard/lifeline devices (SRLs) are finding increasingly practical applications for climbing protection on oil field rigs and during tank entry, as an alternative to ladder climbing devices.
These retracting cable devices either lock to arrest a fall or lower one worker at an automatic rate following a fall, providing emergency descent.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 251.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 88 A – 10/10/05 – Saddle Belt


The saddle belt, also referred to as a tree trimmer’s or rigger’s belt, is equipped with an extra subpelvic strap that is designed to provide support during climbing or positioning.
The user is cradled in a relatively convenient sitting position for working for short periods or for suspension during emergency descent.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 156.
How about ordering a copy of for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 89 A – 10/24/05 – Lifelines


Steel cable lifeline devices, including retracting steel lifelines, are an alternative in heat-producing applications that are protected from grounding by a section of split hose, and are ideal for welding work.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 148.
How about ordering a copy for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No.38 A – 08/30/04. SRLs.


SRLs, which provide controlled descent from scaffolds, are useful for confined space work in boilers or when radiation exposure, for example, creates undue time pressure on workers and potential rescuers.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 148.
How about ordering a copy for yourself? Order online now.


Tip of the Week No. 113 – 05/22/06 – SRL


Self-retracting lanyards/lifeline devices with locking features are designed to arrest free falls within inches by eliminating the dangerous slack that can develop using fixed-length lanyards.
The line – cable, rope or webbing – extends or automatically retracts as the worker moves up and down. Overhead installation is critical for proper use in almost every situation.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 174.
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. 112 – 05/15/06 – SRL and HLL


Another caution: the running of retracting lifelines on horizontal lifelines requires reasonably taut lines so that these devices can run freely overhead to maximize swing-fall consequences – unlike for attachment of lanyards.
A cable sag approximately 5 feet from a termination of approximately 12 inches or less has been shown to give smooth running, which rules out catenary suspensions.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 237.
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. 110 – 05/01/06 – HLL


The HLL must support 5,000 pounds per person, applied perpendicularly to the line. This assumes that all persons dynamically compound the force in a few milliseconds’ range of time, and that forces may approach 5,000 pounds in a single-person fall.
The standard addresssed the problem in this manner. However, it may be impossible to use the criteria for some common or lightweight structures, such as wood-frame building trusses, scaffolds, antennas and aircraft.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 235.
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. 109 – 04/24/06 – Lifeline Knots


Short lifelines terminated with overhead knots at the lower end (to hold a rope weight or to signal if a rope grab may run off) are problematic because the over-hand knot may capsize (roll) under stress.
A figure-8 knot is better, but a lifeline that reaches the ground is the best policy. To adjust a lifeline’s usage length, use a lifeline anchorage adapter.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 363.
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. 108 – 04/17/06 – Chest Straps


Chest straps between the shoulder strap should be worn above the breastline by both men and women, but below the collarbone, which limits any choking hazard after a fall.

Once secured, this strap can be worn “loose” to avoid strap abrasion on the neck and chest (especially for women).
Additionally, circumferential designs typically are very painful under the arms during suspension, and the harness acts more as a belt during fall arrest.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 157.
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 – 04/14/06 – After the Fall


The March 2006 issue of Occupation Health & Safety magazine includes an article entitled’ “After the Fall: Why Fall Protection Isn’t Always Enough.”

The article, co-written by members of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the Liberty Mutual Business Market, stresses that injuries and even fatalities can occur after fall protection equipment engages properly.
Companies must be prepared to rescue workers before they suffer the dire effects of suspension trauma.

To read the entire article click here OH&S online.. Click on March’06 and then After the Fall.

To review a complete discussion of suspension trauma, its effects and how to avoid it go to this website at EFSS Suspension Trauma History.


Tip of the Week No. 106 – 04/03/06 – Lifelines


A lifeline is a vertical line that extends away from an independent anchorage point, and to which a lanyard or body support is attached, using a grabbing device.
The diameter of the line can vary (5/8 inch nylon, polyester or polypropylene; 1/2 inch kernmantle; or 3/8 inch steel cable), but it must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 164.
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 – 03/17/06 – PPE


An article entitled “The Future of PPE” by Betty Hinch in the January/February 2006 issue of Compliance Magazine focuses on technological innovations.

One important aspect is that the innovations address the benefits to the key end user. These benefits include comfort, fit, ease-of-use, and convenience.

Quoting a senior product manager for Miller equipment, the article states, “In the world of self-retracting lifelines, the emphasis is on smaller, lighter and less expensive equipment. New technology and new materials allow for these changes, but durability and flexibility are still key factors”. (Compliance Magazine page 17).

As always, it is important to remember that PPE can only save lives if it is being used and used properly.


Tip of the Week No. 103 – 03/06/06 – Horizontal Lifelines


Horizontal lines are designed to help minimize the potential for dangerous “pendulumlike” swing falls that can result from moving laterally away from a fixed anchorage point.
Swing falls can generate the same forces as falling an equal distance vertically, but present the additional hazard of striking an obstruction.

Horizontal lifelines should be installed without exposure to height hazards. They must be positioned at a height above the waist of potential users.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 177.
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. 99 – 02/06/06 – Fall Arrest Equipment


The purchaser (of fall arrest equipment) bears the important responsibility of choosing fall arrest equipment only for the application recommended in literature, instructions and on the label.
Companies should never allow the use of manufactured equipment in applications not recommended by its manufacturer.
For example, don’t expect a saddle belt to be suitable for fall protection unles the manufacturer states that it is. Also, don’t expect a snaphook to be functional when attached to an angle-iron edge, bolt hole or small D-ring.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 153.
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. 97 – 01/23/06 – Lilfeline Systems


Climbing protection systems are distinguished from most lifeline systems by their inelasticity (a cable or rail rather than a rope, for example) and their ability to withstand long-term outdoor exposure.
Protecting workers climbing on structures like poles, ladders, towers, bridges, antennas, or rigs can be accomplished with taut cables or rigid rails that run centrally or alongside the structure.
The worker’s body support is attached to the cable or rail by means of a climbing device that is designed to move freely up and down, but lock the instant a fall is sensed.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 248.
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. 94 – 01/01/06 – FP Equipment


For all safety equipment, but especially or emergency safety equipment, “forgiving” designs make the difference between a convenient tool and true safety device.
A true safety device has a performance that can be tested. The supplier should provide a certificate of compliance with each device.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 260.
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Tip of the Week No. 87 – 11/07/05 – Restraints


A restraint is intended to be a leash, reasonably preventing access to a fall-hazard zone. In practice, this is extremely difficult, especially if the system is moved.
It is far better to treat it as a fall arrest system, meeting fall arrest requirements.
Note that within 6 feet of an edge or opening, a fall hazard can exist if a fall occurs and the restraint system is nonfunctioning to too long.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 141.
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Tip of the Week No. 79 – 08/01/05 – Horizontal Life Line Criteria


Once the force at the anchorage has been determined, it should be compared to one-half of the cable’s breaking strength.
If satisfactory, this comparison will satisfy OSHA’s 2:1 safety factor against failure.
It is important to note that cable strength is reduced for various reasons (i.e., material compositions; galvanizing; wire rope clamps, if used; etc.). Another consideration would be the fact that the wire rope’s modulus of elasticity is variable, based upon the ratio between the loading on the cable and it’s breaking strength.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 232.
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Tip of the Week No. 64 – 04/11/05 – HLL


Horizontal lifelines are to be carefully designed to counter the sag and end-force in their site-specific use.
A 5,000-pound vertical lifeline may be an adequate design for vertical falls, but it is more likely that 15,000 pounds is a minimum break-strength for a horizontal system with minimal sag.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 168 and Chapter 7 for more information.
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Tip of the Week No. 55 – 01/31/05 – D-rings


A full body harness can distribute arresting forces over more appropriate areas of the body, such as up under the buttocks and, to some extent, over the thighs, shoulders and chest.
A harness with a sliding, back D-ring can also provide proper upright support, both during and after a fall arrest.
An absence of a waist belt enables unrestricted breathing.
Rigid discipline on anchorage-point designation is required, since the harness D-ring is at least 1 foot higher than the belt D-ring. Therefore, the anchorages need to be above shoulder height, as opposed to waist height for belt use.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 182.
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Tip of the Week No. 54 – 01/24/05 – Snaphooks.


The choice of snaphooks to link rope-grab components is a vital safety matter. Only instructions from the manufacturer of the rope grab should be followed to ensure the hardware is compatible.
No other snaphooks should be used to avoid potential roll-out.
All snaphooks should be of locking design, maintained in optimum operating condition and discarded if they are jammed or damaged.
If a manufacturer’s snaphook instructions are not crystal clear, a new manufacturer should be sought.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 147.
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GO EAGLES!!


Tip of the Week No. 46 – 11/08/04 – Connectors.


To provide complete and continuous protection, the connecting means should:
Keep the free-fall distance to a minimum, preferably to 2 feet or less. The idea is to choose the method that can provide the least possibility of injury should a fall occur, and the simplest (self) recovery.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 142.
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Harness Suspension Trauma History and Update.


EFSS has compiled below the critical articles pertaining to the issue of Harness Suspension trauma.
1. The Weems/Bishop article click here.
2. The ANSI Z359 response to the Weems/Bishop article reprinted in full:
12-03-03
To: Occupational Health & Safety Magazine
Regarding the March 2003 Occupational Health & Safety article “Will your Safety Harness Kill You?,” the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z359 Committee on Fall Protection and Related Systems would like to clarify the causes and risks associated with motionless harness suspension and trauma. While the committee agrees with many of the observations and recommendations made therein, there are several points that deserve clarification:
1. The article stated that suspension over 5 minutes in a safety harness can cause death, citing Paul Seddon’s report to the Health and Safety Executive (UK) entitled, Harness Suspension: Review and Evaluation of Existing Information. The UK report clearly documents the existence and importance of suspension trauma, but also shows that the related risks stem from motionless suspension (e.g. worker is unconscious or incapacitated) and not from suspension in the normal course of work. Because this important distinction is not made clear in the article, readers might mistakenly conclude that any suspension over 5 minutes can lead to death. Such a conclusion would conflict with the advice given in section 1.6.1 of the UK report that states “…anyone who is suspended in a harness may be at risk of suspension trauma if they were to hang motionless in the harness” and “…leaving an unconscious person suspended on a rope can cause death in less than 10 minutes.”
2. The article also provided two hypothetical examples of how workers might die as a result of suspension trauma, but neither example provided a clear picture of how suspension trauma may have contributed to the worker’s death, nor is motionless suspension mentioned as a chief risk factor. When examples of deadly risk factors are given, a more detailed analysis should be used to reduce the opportunity for misinterpretation. This might have been done in the example of the carpenter’s death by mentioning that he sustained a head injury in the fall, causing loss of consciousness. Because he was working alone (i.e. had no rescue plan), and was suspended for more than 15 minutes while unconscious, he eventually died due to suspension trauma. The research shows that the level of risk to the worker suspended after a fall becomes more severe if the worker is unconscious or incapacitated by other trauma.
3. It is important to keep what is known about suspension trauma in perspective. The UK report states that over 5.8 million on-rope hours have been logged by qualified IRATA rope access technicians without any reported incidents of suspension trauma. Several deaths that occurred in caving and mountaineering are discussed in the report, but many of these had additional contributing factors such as prolonged suspension (several hours), harsh environment, and lack of harness. The death of a soldier in first aid training is discussed briefly, but he was “left unobserved for about six minutes,” suspended only by a strap around the thorax (it is not stated how long the soldier hung before he was left unobserved). The UK report does not document any worker deaths caused by suspension in a harness, but it does show an urgent need for education and action regarding suspension trauma. For more information on suspension trauma, Paul Seddon’s report to the HSE may be downloaded at Paul Seddon’s research for HSE.
Issues related to suspension trauma are currently under consideration by the Z359 committee. The committee is currently revising the Z359.1 standard, and may be approved by fall 2004. The revised standard will address training, use, and equipment specifications for personal fall arrest, work positioning, travel restraint, and rescue systems. For more information, please contact the Z359 secretariat, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), at 847-699-2929, attention Patrick Arkins.
Sincerely,
Jack Dobson, CSP
Chair, Z359 ASC
3. Paul Seddon’s research for HSE “Harness suspension: review and evaluation of existing information”.
4.The April 2004 OH&S reporter printed further reaction to the Weems & Bishop article.
Dr. J. Nigel Ellis feels that while suspension trauma is a real concern workers can be and must be trained as how to alleviate the trauma while suspended and a prompt and effective rescue plan will help as well. To avoid the pooling of blood in the lower portion of the body the suspended worker must be trained to shift his/her weight from side to side frequently while suspended. A rescue plan that has the worker “down” in a few minutes (four or less is ideal) also reduces the opportunity for venous pressure to build to a dangerous level. Chest harnesses, waist belts and thorasic belts are unacceptably dangerous. A full body harness is the correct tool for suspension after a fall arrest.

Dr. Ellis, noted that harness manufacturers now supplying products to relieve suspension trauma risk by adding web foot-steps to full-body harnesses. These foot-step safety devices are to be activated by the worker in the event of a fall. The worker can then alternate between hanging and stepping side to side while awaiting rescue, thereby stimulating blood flow and alleviating the cause of suspension trauma.
5. OSHA’s article discussing the medical/physical impact of harness suspension trauma OSHA Suspenstion Trauma article.
6.Dr. Maurice Amphoux, M.A.A.C., France, highlighted dangers of prolonged suspension in fall arrest harnesses based on mountaineering and speleological experience. Motionless or unconscious suspension in strap harnesses for even a very short time, sets up a blood venus pooling effect which becomes dangerous if rescue methods do not address this effect. Oxygen or air flow into or over the respiratory tract plus slight elevation of the legs is vitally important for rescue training of fallen workers. Speedy rescue techniques are vital according to Dr. Amphoux. Conclusion: 1. Workers in pre-fall training should be told to keep body parts moving frequently in a post-fall wait for rescue. 2. The term “Prompt rescue availability” means “immediately prompt relief of suspension”. 3. Rescuers need special training for understanding suspended worker physiology. Amphoux Article click here.
7. Suspension Trauma: A Lethal Cascade of Events by: Dr. Norman Woods 2012


Tip of the Week No. 29 – 06/28/04. Harness.


Wear a full body harness if you can free fall more than 2 feet with your equiment and where immediate postfall self-recovery is not possible.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 304.

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Tip of the Week No. 26 – 06/07/04. Harness.


Chest-Waist Harness: An arrangement of straps that secures around the chest, shoulders and to which a lanyard is attached. It is usually used for restraint or possibly emergency retrieval, but never fall arrest.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 425.
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Tip of the Week No. 23 – 05/17/04. SRLs


Automatic self-retracting lanyard/lifeline devices (SRLs) are finding increasingly practical applications for climbing protection on oil field rigs and during tank entry, as an alternative to ladder climbing devices. These retracting cable devices either lock to arrest a fall or lower one worker at an automatic rate following a fall, providing emergency descent.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 251.
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Tip of the Week No. 19 – 04/19/04. Equipment selection.


The selection of fall arrest equipment is a job the engineer usually delegates to the general contractor, who then delegates to a subcontractor or, alternatively, to the owner’s safety department. The knowledgeable engineer should be available upon request to assist with anchorage point design that will meet the subcontractor(s) anchorage strength requirements. Otherwise, a fall protection engineering consulting firm should be retained.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 320.
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Warning! Harness designs are important for proper protection


Watch out for harness designs which don’t work. A harness must fit perfectly and be adjustable for different weather conditions. Leg straps and shoulder straps must be fully adjustable for comfort. TIP: Keep leg straps attached throughout the workday to avoid being caught without effective protection at heights!


Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition #10


Tip of the Week No. 238;
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.
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 #15


Tip of the Week No. 243:
Where free falling cannot practically be held below 2 feet, adequate shock absorption and proper body support become more critical, along with rapid effective rescue techniques.
For shock absorption at impact, the objective should be to limit the potential forces on the body during an arrest. Maintaining average arresting forces of PFAS at around 800 pounds not only keeps the potential for compounding injuries to a minimum, it may also allow certain personnel to train with fall arrest equipment.
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 #18


Tip of the Week No. 246:
The full body harness is a set of straps positioned around the shoulders, thighs, buttocks, and hips, typically designed to arrest a fall up to 6 feet. A full body harness (sometimes still called a parachute harness) that can distribute arresting forces over the seat and shoulders as opposed to the soft, vulnerable midsection is preferred.
A harness without a waist belt helps ensure unrestricted breathing, while an extra seat strap spreads the arresting forces on the most suitable part of the body, the buttocks, and provides additional support during suspension.
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 #19


Tip of the Week No. 247:
Chest straps between the shoulder strap should be worn above the breast line by both men and women, but below the collarbone, which limits any choking hazard after a fall. Once secured, this strap can be worn “loose” to avoid strap abrasion on the neck and chest (especially women).
Additionally, circumferential designs typically are very painful under the arms during suspension, and the harness acts more as a belt during fall arrest.
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 #22


Tip of the Week No. 250:
No belt should take a fall arrest load; a full-body harness must be the medium in a fall arrest system that takes the load and effectively distributes it around the body. Manufacturers typically make standard full-body harnesses for a total weight (worker and tools) of 310 lbs. When individual weight exceeds 310 lbs. some manufacturers have provided systems for up to 400 lbs. Since over 33 percent of American adults are obese or overweight (Koop 1978)the dilemma then becomes “how big is too big?”
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 #28


Tip of the Week No. 256:
Misunderstanding that a rope loadline is not, in itself, a lifeline, underscores a lack of knowledge or training. The best way to view boatswain-chair work is to have a totally separate, personal lifeline system for the worker, an to avoid any common element with the suspension system.
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 #30


Tip of the Week No. 258:
Proper training for correct harness use is critical to help avoid bad habits and misuse. One increasingly frequent and disastrous practice is wearing the harness but not using the leg straps, even to the extent of rolling and taping the leg straps with no intention of attaching them. This practice must be rooted out by diligent inspection of each worker.
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 #32


Tip of the Week No. 260:
The primary rule is to apply fall protetion when the height hazard exceeds a reasonable figure of a few feet, or at any height, if continued exposure is not preventable. The responsibility of the equipment vendor to educate an end-user is limited by the extent that the customer (i.e. the end-user’s employer) has a bona fide “no-fall” policy rather than a tie-off policy, which is common among employers.
It also depends upon the manufacturer’s instructions, labeling, and product literature, and whether the employer and employees follow these itmes for reasonably foreseeable or permitted uses.
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 #34


Tip of the Week No. 262:
Chest straps between the shoulder strap should be worn above the breast line by both men and women, but below the collarbone, which limits any choking hazard after a fall. Once secured, this strap can be worn “loose” to avoid strap abrasion on the neck and chest (especially for women).
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 #39


Tip of the Week No. 267:
Never attach fall-arrest equipment snaphooks together unless authorized in writing by the manufacturer. This includes tower and monopole construction and installations where rappelling dangers when using twistlock snaphooks can result in uncoupling the (life)line and sudden free fall with no protection. The tree industry has safeguarded this possibility by requiring triple locking snaphooks to protect against loss of wraps (ANSI Z133.1).
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 #47


Tip of the Week No. 275:
Proper training for correct harness use is critical to help avoid bad habits and misuse. One increasing frequent and disastrous practice is wearing the harness but not using the leg straps, even to the extent of rolling up and taping the leg straps with no intention of attaching them.
This practice must be rooted out by diligent inspection of each worker.
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 #9


Tip of the Week No. 237:
A hand line is not adequate fall protection, even if the workers holds it. Many times a worker will carry tools or boxes of bolts without holding onto the line.
Also, when an intermediate post is reached, no grip is feasible. Only when the hand line is converted to a guardrail cable with midcable, and is positioned on both sides of the girder, can it be considered a candidatefor adequate 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.


Tip of the Week 303 – 12/06/2010 – Full Body Harnesses


The quality of the fall arrest system begins with the properly fitted full body harness, to ensure subpelvic fall arrest and suspension comfort with minimum waist or body discomfort. After careful analysis, other equipment needs to be selected based upon the work or weight versus carrying time.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 320.
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Tip of the Week No. 270 – 02/01/10 – Lifeline Systems


The two major types of lifeline systems, vertical and horizontal, can function independently or be integrated to provide two-dimensional fall protection. Life-line systems are for emergency use only.
They are never an excuse for not providing proper access or work platforms. For example, if a lifeline system is typically held by workers to support their balance, it is no longer being used as a lifeline; it is being used for work positioning.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 164.

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Tip of the Week No. 278 – 04/05/10 – Positioning Equipment


Historically, the notions of user positioning, fall prevention, restraint and fall arrest have been comingled in the literature, as a result, their distinguishing characteristics have not been delineated.
However, the requirements imposed on personal equipment and procedures differ markedly from those essential to positioning and restraint.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 36.
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Tip of the Week No. 281 – 04/26/10 – Ergonomics


Ergonomics is the science of making sure a work activity is designed to fit a worker’s individual needs. When selecting from among different types of full body harnesses, it is very important not to fall prey to the idea that one size fits all.
There is more to safety than off-the-shelf solutions to the often unique needs of protecting someone from falling.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 322.
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Tip of the Week No. 287 – 07/12/10 – Lifeline systems


Contemporary lifeline systems aer designed to go beyond the limitations of a harness and 6-foot lanyard. They provide workers with protection from the time they leave the ground or grade level until they return. Thus these systems combine mobility with protection.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 164.
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Tip of the Week No. 288 – 07/19/10 – Horizontal Lifelines


Short-term horizontal lifeline systems are intended for a few days’ to weeks’ use. For example, these may be a horizontal rope lifeline and rope tensioer that can be installed with a wrench in minutes. Positioned between vertical support columns or fabricated end and midsupport posts, the system can provide protected horizontal mobility on roofs, tanks and piperacks.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 179.
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Tip of the Week No. 291 – 08/16/10 – Fall Arrest Equipment


Fall arrest equipment, however, should be passive. The only force to be seen, other than the weight of the equipment itself, is dynamic force during an accidental fall arrest. For this, shock absorbing features are vital to help avoid serious injury.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 23.
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Tip of the Week No. 302- 11/22/2010 – Rope Grab


A complete rope-grab system is crucial for safety. The lanyard, if any, must be short and designed as part of the system when used.
The rope grab and lanyard must be tested dynamically with its lifeline, and the results analyzed, before a particular combination is utilized by any worker for protection to avoid unforeseen failure of the system. There is no substitute for an OSHA standards’ test repeat prior to use of such systems.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 174.
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Tip of the Week No. 310 – 02/14/2011 – Short Term Hortizontal Lifeline Systems


Short-term horizontal lifeline systems are intended for a few days’ to a few weeks’ use. For example, these may be a horizontal rope lifeline and rope tensioner that can be installed with a wrench in minutes. Positioned between vertical support columns or fabricated end and midsupport posts, the system can provide protected horizonatl mobility on roofs, tanks and pipecracks.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 179.
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Tip of the Week No. 311 – 02/21/2011 – Color Coding Equipment


Color coding top and bottom harness straps can help workers put the harness on more quickly and easily, with less frustration. Waist or ribs straps, which encircle the body, determine harness sizes.
Finally, a sliding, back D-ring can help absorb force and position the body upright for optimal support during and after an arrest.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 157.
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Tip of the Week No. 317 – 04/18/2011 – Full Body Harness


A harness without a waist belt helps ensure unrestricted breathing, while an extra seat strap spreads the arresting forces on the most suitable parts of the body, the buttocks, and provides additional support during suspension.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 157.
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Tip of the Week No. 319 – 06/04/2012 – Roll Out


Dynamic roll-out can occur when a nonlocking (orginally called single-locking) snaphook or carabiner is unintentionally but improperly mated to an attachment point, such as a small eyebolt shape, to another snaphook, to certain D-rings, or to another shape.
For example, accidental disengagement or roll-out can result when the force of a fall arrest rebounds back up through the lanyard/lifeline constructed of twisted rope, driving the hook up and around the attachment, depressing the gate, and allowing the snaphook to pop loose or roll out. This appears to be possible in just a few milliseconds.
See Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition page 247.
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Tip of the Week No. 330 -09/17/2012 – Harnesses


Work-positioning harnesses are becoming popular for form and rebar work. Employers must be careful to explain the proper use of each D-ring when training workers. The two side D-rings work together with a rebar chain/hook or lanyard for positioning, and the rear, upper-back D-ring is only for fall arrest.
Some electric utilities have opted for separate components of work positioning (lineman’s belt) and fall arrest (harness); others have combined them.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 208.
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Tip of the Week No. 341 – 12/03/2012 – PPE for Heavy Workers


While personal protective equipment may have the strength to stop a heavy worker from falling to the ground or the lower level, typically, heavy-worker fall forces will be highter than that of average-weight workers, leading to the need to review the entire fall protection system as well as the individual’s overall health and physical condition. Other things to consider with regard to fall protection and heavy workers include equipment fit. A harness may have been designed and constructed by the manufacturer for a large worker, but the body proportions of workers over 310 lbs. vary significantly. It may be more difficult to get a proper fit on a heavy worker.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 418.
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Tip of the Week No. 342 – 12/10/2012 – Harness safety


Because of potential misued, the simples harness with a single back D-ring is recommended for most applications. As a special safety consideration, female workers or male workers with long hair should wear their hair up or netted when on the job in order to avoid entanglement in sliding back D-rings. Wearing a rachet-style hard hat helps.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 202.
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Tip of the Week No. 353 – 03/04/2013 – check back weekly for a new fall protection tip!!


Climbing protection systems are distinguished from most lifeline systems by their inelasticity (e.g. a cable or rail rather than a rope) and their ability to withstand long-term outdoor exposure. Protecting workers climbing on structures like poles, ladders, towers, bridges, antennas, or rigs can be accomplished with taut cables or rigid rails that run centrallly or alongisde the structure. The worker’s body support is attached to the cable or rail by means of a connecting device that is designed to move freely up and down, but lock the instant a fall is sensed.
See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 320.
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