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MODULE 5: Personal Fall Protection Systems

August 23, 2022

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Personal fall protection equipment and systems must be used when a person is working at heights with the potential of fall hazards. These systems can include fall arrest, positioning and restraint.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Inspections” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Personal fall protection equipment must be inspected by the End User prior to each use to determine that it is in a safe working condition. The Competent Person for fall protection will need to inspect the equipment once semi-annually and whenever equipment is subjected to a fall or impact.

Inspection by the CP must be documented and:

Defective or damaged equipment must be removed from service immediately and replaced. The inspection criteria must include:

Harnesses, lanyards, straps and ropes: These components must be checked for cuts, wear, tears, damaged threads, broken or torn stitching, discoloration, abrasions, burn or chemical damage, ultraviolet deterioration and missing markings and/or labels.

Hardware: All hardware components must be checked for signs of wear, cracks, corrosion, and deformation.

Personal fall protection equipment must be used, inspected, maintained, and stored in a safe place in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations or as prescribed by the CP.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Fall Protection Equipment Selection” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Selection for the appropriate fall protection must be based on the work being performed, the environment, and the weight, size, and shape of the worker; the type and position/location of anchorage; and the required length of the lanyard.

PFAS are known as Personal Fall Arrest Systems. These systems consist of a full body harness, connecting means, and an anchorage system.

PFAS must always meet the requirements contained in ANSI Z359, Fall Protection Code, to include fall restraint and positioning systems. It’s important to note that PFAS are generally certified for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 lbs including the weight of the worker, equipment and tools.

Workers are not permitted to exceed the 210-pound limit unless the manufacturer permits it, in writing.

For workers who weigh less than 130 lbs., a special designed harness and special designed energy absorbing lanyard must be used. This system will properly deploy if this person was to fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”PFAS Used to Stop Falls” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]When designing new PFAS, the QP must always try to minimize fall distances including free fall distances and arrest forces.  If necessary, increase free fall distances and arrest forces in order to accommodate existing and new structures or provide mobility to end users. Only the QP can make this determination and the maximum arrest force must always be kept below 1,800 lbs.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”PFAS – Body Support Requirements” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”18366″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Full Body Harness: PFAS require the use of a full-body harness. (The use of body belts is prohibited)

The concept of fall protection is to stop workers from falling with the use of a tethering system. The longer the attachment lanyard, the greater the acceleration time during the fall and the greater the stress on the body. An attachment near the shoulders means that any drag from the lanyard will serve to position the worker’s body in an upright position so the forces are distributed from head to foot. The head is somewhat protected if the legs and body precede it in the fall.

Only full body harnesses meeting the requirements of ANSI Z359 are acceptable. Full body harnesses labeled to meet the requirements of the ANSI A10.14 will not be used.

The fall arrest attachment point on the full body harness must be intrinsically attached and located at the wearer’s upper back between the shoulder blades (dorsal D-ring).

A frontal D-ring attachment point integrally attached to wearer’s full body harness and located at the sternum, can be used for fall arrest such as when using a ladder or climbing device. However, if this frontal D ring is used, the free fall distance must not exceed 2-feet and the max arresting forces cannot exceed 900 pounds.

All full body harnesses must have Suspension Trauma Preventers such as stirrups, relief steps, or similar in order to provide short-term relief from the effects of orthostatic intolerance.

Full-Body electrically rated harnesses used by Linemen is used around high voltage equipment or structures. This equipment must be an industry designed “linemen’s fall protection harness” that will resist arc flash and meet ASTM F887 and ANSI Z359. The equipment must also bear a label stating as such.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”18367″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Connecting subsystems may include energy absorbing lanyards with snap hooks or carabiners at each end, self-retracting devices or fall arrestors also known as rope grabs. Rope Grabs move easily up and down vertical lifelines to provide continuous fall protection. The rope grab is the device that allows the worker to move up and down a vertical lifeline. One of the first things to consider while using a rope grab is to find where your rope meets the roof edge and tie a knot. This is just an added safety precaution you can make in case the unforeseeable happens.

Lanyards – Lanyards must be energy absorbing and made of synthetic ropes, straps or webbing. Lanyards must be capable of sustaining a tensile load of 5,000 pounds. The maximum length of single or “Y” lanyards used in fall arrest must not exceed 6 ft.

The 6 ft Free Fall energy absorbing lanyard must only be used when the tie-off point is above the dorsal D-ring creating a free fall distance of less than 6 ft. The energy absorber must have an average arrest force of 900 pounds and a maximum deployment distance of four feet. If an anchor point is used below the dorsal D Ring, the free fall distance will be greater than 6 feet. It’s for this reason the requirement for the tie off point to be above the dorsal ring is so important.

It’s important to note that lanyards must never be looped back over or through an object and then attached back to themselves unless permitted by the manufacturer.

When using “Y” Lanyards with two integrally connected legs for 100% tie off, attach only the snap hook at the center of the lanyard to the fall arrest attachment element of the harness (D-ring).[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”18368″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”18369″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_custom_heading text=”Components of Personal Fall Protection Devices” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”18370″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_custom_heading text=”Self-Retracting Devices (SRD)” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”18371″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_custom_heading text=”Self-Retracting Device Requirements” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”18372″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_custom_heading text=”Lifelines” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”18373″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_custom_heading text=”Positioning System” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]A positioning system uses some of the same equipment as a fall protection system however a positioning system used alone does not constitute fall protection. A positioning system will not be used as a primary fall arrest system. While positioning (working with both hands free), a person must use a separate system that provides back-up protection from a fall.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”The Positioning System Must” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]

  • Be rigged to prevent the worker from falling more than 2 feet
  • Be secured to an anchorage capable of supporting at least twice the potential impact load of a worker’s fall or 3,000 pounds, whichever is greater.
  • Ensure workers achieve 100% tie-off during use
  • be located on the sides or on the front of the harness.

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Restraint Systems” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%231e73be” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”18374″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Consideration must be made for use of fall restraint over fall arrest. Fall restraint systems prevent the user from reaching an area where a free fall could occur by restricting the length of the lanyard or by other means.

The anchorage strength requirement for restraint systems is 3,000 pounds or designed by a QP for two times the foreseeable force. Restraint systems can be used only on flat or low-sloped surfaces.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]