Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to all things fall protection.

Anchors

  • Should the wear sleeve on a concrete anchor strap protrude beyond the edge of the pour?

    Yes, the wear sleeve should extend beyond the edge to protect the anchor strap. Incorrect installation can allow the webbing to come into direct contact with rough edges of the cured concrete. When the strap is used incorrectly, the webbing is much more prone to damage and degradation. Therefore, straps that do not have the wear sleeve protruding beyond the edge of the pour should be removed. 

  • Can the FS830 series of coated cable chokers be wrapped around a structure multiple times?

    Yes. There is nothing to prohibit usage in instances where multiple wraps of the cable choker would need to be made around a structure prior to pass-through of the O-rings and attachment. There are varying sizes of structures in the field that may require more than one wrap of the cable and the FS830 series cable chokers are designed to allow for such attachment.

  • Can a horizontal lifeline be used with the Safewaze SW900 Parapet Wall Anchor?

    Yes. The SW900 is suitable for use with a horizontal lifeline as long as the lifeline runs perpendicular to the parapet wall on which the SW900 is installed.  Under no circumstance can a horizontal lifeline be used with a SW900 in a configuration where the lifeline runs parallel with the parapet wall.

  • Can a cross arm strap be used as an anchor point for a horizontal lifeline (HLL)?

    Yes. Safewaze cross arm straps may be used as the anchorage connector component of a compatible HLL system. Suitability must be determined on-site by a competent person. Any length of cross arm strap may be used with an HLL provided the competent person assesses the complete system and determines the strap length will not result in a free fall which exceeds the limits permitted by the system. 

  • Can the FS876 removable concrete hole anchor be used as an anchorage in a horizontal lifeline?

    Yes. The FS876 Removable Concrete Hole Anchor is suitable for use in this application when the structure to which it is attached meets all applicable criteria for anchorage connection per OSHA regulations. The FS876 is suitable for use with horizontal lifelines designed to support two users.

  • What is the proper method for use of Safewaze vertical beam anchors with a horizontal lifeline?

    Safewaze offers a Vertical/Stationary Beam Anchor: 019-4009. Proper installation method as well as HLL attachment, capacities and more, can be found in the anchor’s individual instruction manual.

  • Can a temporary fixed beam anchor be used as an intermediate anchor point for the SafeLink horizontal lifeline system?

    Yes. Use of a temporary fixed beam anchor as an intermediate attachment point for inverted SafeLink installation is an acceptable installation method. 

  • Can the FS-EX311 single standing seam roof bracket anchor be used with Safewaze roofing kits?

    Yes. The FS-EX311 can be used with any Safewaze roofing kit. However, the user must be aware that the structure to which the FS-EX311 is being attached must meet all pertinent OSHA, ANSI and local regulations and standards pertaining to anchorage strength.  

    OSHA 1926.500 and 1910.66 states, “Anchorages used for attachment of a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and must support at least 5000 lbs. (4kN) per user attached; or be designed, installed and used as part of a complete PFAS which maintains a safety factor of at least two and is supervised by a qualified person.”

  • Can the Safewaze FS-EX400-15 ratchet anchor strap be use on finished concrete?

    Yes. Both sizes of Safewaze FS-EX400 series ratchet anchor straps are suitable for use on finished concrete.

  • Can an overhead crane be used as a fall protection anchorage point?

    OSHA allows workers to tie off directly to a non-moving crane or below the hook attachment in construction applications. OSHA states that a personal fall arrest system is permitted to be anchored to the crane’s hook when the following requirement is met: a qualified person has determined that the setup and rated capacity of the crane including the hook, load line and rigging meets or exceeds the requirements outlined in 1926.1423(d)(15) as stated below: 

    (15) Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached; or shall be designed, installed and used as follows:
    (i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two
    (ii) under the supervision of a qualified person

    OSHA does not define how many workers can be tied off to the approved hook at one time. Most assume that it is only one and many companies limit the maximum number of workers to two. The safety professional in charge must use his or her professional judgment to determine what is safest for that particular application. 

    For general industry, OSHA can allow direct attachment to a crane only if you are following OSHA’s hierarchy of controls. This means that the crane attachment point, crane controls and administrative controls must be engineered or validated by a qualified person. Contact your local OSHA office for proper clarifications. 

    For fall protection coverage in linear work areas, a qualified engineer can add an enclosed track anchorage system along crane bridges. In this situation, the administrative controls require the crane to be locked out and tagged out before using its structure as a fall arrest anchorage point. 

  • Definitions

  • What is a leading edge hazard?

    A simple way to answer is to ask if there is any chance that the connecting device may come into contact with an edge. If the SRL or lanyard may hit the outer limit of a structure, such as the edge of a roof or side of a beam or deck, the answer is yes. OSHA 1926.751 states:

    Leading edge means the unprotected side and edge of a floor, roof, or formwork for a floor or other walking/working surface (such as deck) which changes location as additional floor, roof, decking or formwork sections are placed, formed or constructed.

    Attributes:

    • Worker may be tied off below D-ring or at foot level
    • Often a sharp or abrasive unfinished part of working surface
    • Edge changes as the work continues or progresses

    Hazards:

    • Rough edges may cut or fray device cable or webbing
    • Extreme force when connection hits edge can damage device
    • Worker subject to longer falls before fall arrest system activates
    • Worker subject to greater arrest forces due to isolated cable or webbing over the edge
    • Increased swing fall potential for fallen worker

    Compliance:

    • PPE designed, tested and rated specifically for leading edge
    • OSHA requires specialized LE fall protection equipment for any work within 6’ of leading edge

    Bottom Line: To ensure worker safety, use only fall protection equipment specifically labeled for leading edge in a leading edge situation.

  • What is the difference between a positioning lanyard and an energy or shock absorbing lanyard?

    A positioning lanyard is one component of a positioning device system. A positioning device system is used for fall restraint rather than fall arrest and consists of three parts: a belt or body harness, a lanyard and an anchor point. The positioning lanyard is the device which connects the harness to an anchor point and permits falls of 2 ft. or less. All positioning equipment must meet OSHA and ANSI standards. 

    An energy absorbing lanyard is used with a personal fall arrest system, which is different than a positioning device system. A fall arrest system’s goal is to lessen any forces on a worker’s body during a fall. ANSI standards allow for various ways of accomplishing this, such as the tearing of materials or breaking of stitches. These lanyards can be worn by the user or be part of a horizontal or vertical lifeline subsystem. 

    If potential for a fall exists, an energy absorbing lanyard is preferred over a positioning lanyard. Also note that if a worker is using a positioning device with a personal fall arrest system, they should utilize a harness that is designed to have attachment points for BOTH systems. 

  • What is a double-locking snaphook?

    ANSI Z359 defines a snaphook as “a connector comprised of a hook-shaped body with a normally closed gate or similar arrangement that may be opened to permit the hook to receive an object and, when released, automatically closes to retain the object.” 

    Snaphooks typically “snap” closed and generally come in two types:    

    1. Automatic-locking: These hooks have a self-closing and self-locking gate which remains closed and locked until intentionally unlocked and opened for connection or disconnection. Required by ANSI Z359.
    2. Non-locking: These hooks have a self-closing gate which remains closed but not locked until intentionally opened for connection or disconnection. Not permitted by ANSI Z359.

    A double-locking snaphook is an automatic-locking hook. The “double” refers to the two-step action required to unlock and open the gate. It also refers to the self-closing and self-locking operations that take place once the hook is released. 

  • What is a pelican hook?

    A pelican hook usually refers to a hook with a large gate opening, typically in the 60 mm (2-2 ¼ in.) range. These types of hooks are often referred to as “rebar” hooks due to their association with and common incorporation into rebar chain assemblies. These assemblies are used for work positioning when tying rebar.

  • How do I calculate fall clearance?

    Determining fall clearance is perhaps the most important aspect of fall protection. If not properly calculated, the wrong equipment could be selected for a particular job and, in the event of a fall, the result could be devastating. 

    Fall clearance is the minimum distance needed for equipment to arrest (or stop) a fall and keep a worker from striking the ground or the next lowest surface. It is not a simple distance calculation. There are many factors to consider, such as: 

    • Length of Anchorage Connecter (LA) 
    • Length of Connecting Device (LC)
    • Maximum Arrest Distance of Connecting Device (MAD) 
    • Height of Worker (HW) 
    • Safety Factor (SF) i.e., Harness Stretch, typically 2 ft. 
    • Relation of Anchor Point to Dorsal D-Ring 

    If the distance between the anchor point and nearest obstruction is less than the determined fall clearance, the fall arrest system will not protect a worker from hitting a lower surface. 

    Another consideration are situations known as swing falls. A swing fall occurs when an anchorage point is not directly above a worker. The nature of these falls means that adjusted calculations must be made. 

  • What is the difference between passive and active fall protection?

    Passive Fall Protection: This is a system that is fixed (stationary) and does not require worker interaction, such as a guardrail, hole cover or netting system.  

    Active Fall Protection: This type of system is mobile and requires a worker to use specific equipment. Fall arrest and fall restraint systems are two types of active fall protection.

  • What is the difference between fall protection, fall arrest and fall restraint?

    Fall Protection: This general term covers all methods of protecting workers against a fall, including both passive and active systems. Note that this use of “fall” references one from height.  

    Fall Arrest: This is an active fall protection system that arrests or stops a body from hitting a lower surface once a fall has occurred. This system typically includes: [1] an anchor point or series of anchor points; [2] a connector such as an energy-absorbing lanyard or SRL; and [3] bodywear such as a harness.

    Fall Restraint: This is an active fall protection system that focuses on keeping a worker from getting close to a fall hazard in order to avoid a fall. These systems use many of the same elements as a fall arrest system. They are most often designed with specific-length lanyards and are utilized on a walking or working surface such as an open rooftop, platform or other surface near a fall hazard. 

  • What is the Hierarchy of Fall Protection?

    The Hierarchy of Fall Protection is the preferred order of control for fall hazards. As the hierarchy progresses, so does the level of risk.

    1. Hazard Elimination: Removal of any risk of fall hazard. Zero risk level.
    2. Passive Fall Protection: Placement of physical barriers like guardrails around unprotected edges and covers over open holes.
    3. Fall Restraint Systems: Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to limit a worker’s field of movement, preventing a fall.
    4. Fall Arrest Systems: Use of PPE to reduce the impact of a fall to within acceptable force and clearance margins and prevent striking a lower level.
    5. Administrative Controls: Implementation of workplace practices and procedures which alert a worker to all fall hazards. This is the least preferred method offering no means of physical protection. High risk level.

  • What is a personal fall arrest system (PFAS)?

    ANSI/ASSE Z359.0 defines a PFAS as “an assembly of components and subsystems used to arrest a person in a free fall.” Typically, a PFAS consists of: [1] an anchorage device; [2] a full body harness; and [3] a connector. At the most basic level, the anchor attaches to the structure upon which the user is working. The harness contains the body of the user. The connector fastens the user’s harness to the anchor and manages the forces associated with the arrest.

  • What is a swing fall?

    The ANSI/ASSE Z359.0-2012 standard says, “a swing fall is a pendulum-like motion that occurs during and/or after a vertical fall. A swing fall results when an authorized person begins a fall from a position that is located horizontally away from a fixed anchorage.” 

    Swing falls are typically associated with the use of a self-retracting lanyard because an SRL can be installed at greater heights than shock absorbing lanyards. If cable is let out of the device as a result of the user moving away from the device horizontally, a fall and the subsequent locking of the SRL will cause the user to “swing” like a pendulum back towards the center anchor point. The possibility of a swing fall requires adjusted calculations for fall clearance.

  • What does the term “100 percent tie-off” in fall protection refer to?

    “100% tie-off” or “100% fall protection” means that when a worker is exposed to potential fall hazards, he or she must be protected by an active or passive fall protection system 100% of the time. Active systems include fall arrest systems such as those with an anchor, full body harness and connecting lanyard. A passive system could be a guardrail or netting. For example, when a guideline indicates that 100% fall protection is required above 6 feet, a worker climbing a fixed ladder of any height above 6 feet should be protected by a ladder climb system, cage or other active fall protection while climbing as well as when exiting the ladder onto the working surface. A positioning or travel restraint device could be a part of this 100% fall protection system. Most often, a backup fall arrest system is also used while connected to the positioning or travel restraint system to ensure 100% tie-off at all times.

  • What is suspension trauma?

    Suspension trauma, also known as orthostatic intolerance or harness hang syndrome, is a deadly condition caused by a long period of restricted blood circulation. Symptoms include:

    • Lightheadedness
    • Palpitations
    • Tremulousness
    • Poor concentration
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Sweating
    • Weakness or fainting upon standing
    • Unconsciousness

    Orthostatic intolerance first begins when a worker experiences a fall and is suspended above the ground, typically when using a fall arrest system. While suspended, a worker may become unconscious and the length of suspension combined with venous pooling (blood collecting in the veins) could result in death. Such fatalities can occur in less than 30 minutes and even as little as 10 minutes. OSHA mandates that rescue be made within 4-6 minutes. 

  • What is a fall protection plan?

    A fall protection plan is a detailed safety plan for workers who will perform work at an elevated area. These advance plans must be worksite specific and made available to all employees.  

    The following factors should be considered when developing a fall protection plan: 

    1. Potential fall hazards on-site within the work area.
    2. Fall protection applications that employees will encounter with the appropriate equipment they need to work safely.
    3. Procedures for the assembly, maintenance, inspection and disassembly of all fall protection systems used on-site.
    4. Procedures for handling, storing and securing all tools and materials.
    5. Training methods for employees at the worksite.
    6. Prompt, safe rescue procedures in the event of injured workers.
  • What is a fall protection rescue plan?

    A written rescue plan is part of an overall fall protection plan and is required by OSHA. The written rescue plan must be site specific and include step-by-step procedures for self rescue, assisted rescue, or multi-person evacuation. The following four topics must be addressed when developing and implementing your rescue plan: 

    1. Who will be executing the rescue?
    2. Where will the rescue take place?
    3. What type of equipment is required to safely conduct the rescue?
    4. What are our rescue options for this area?

    A rescue plan is a living document and must be updated as new equipment is brought onto the worksite.  It must be read and understood by any workers who will be impacted by the information it contains. 

  • What is the difference between OSHA and ANSI?

    OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) are both important organizations focused on keeping workers safe. While there is overlap between the two, their roles are different. 

    OSHA is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor charged with setting and enforcing safety regulations in the workplace. OSHA also provides training, outreach, education and assistance to workers in order to increase awareness and understanding of these regulations. OSHA regulations are governing law and therefore mandatory, meaning all workplaces and employers must comply. Those who do not comply can face serious consequences, including citations and hefty fines. OSHA regulations are established to ensure safe working conditions. Due to the lengthy process involved in making updates, they often fall short of delivering the most comprehensive and up-to-date safety information.  

    ANSI is a non-governmental body which exists to promote and facilitate voluntary consensus standards (guidelines that are universally accepted). Some of these standards are aimed at improving worker safety on the job, such as the Z359 series for fall protection. ANSI standards are recommended guidelines which better represent the thinking of industry experts. They are more in-depth than OSHA regulations, generally more current and require revision or reaffirmation every five years. A significant number of ANSI recommendations relate to fall arrest equipment and PPE, acting to fill the gaps in OSHA’s fall protection regulations. There are cases where OSHA does not have published rules which address specific issues, so they often look to manufacturer guidelines. ANSI standards serve to fill those holes with best-practice, easy-to-understand guidelines. 

    ANSI standards are not mandatory and following them is not required by law. While manufacturers and employers can choose to ignore ANSI standards without facing any monetary penalty, doing so could place worker safety in jeopardy. 

    Even though OSHA and ANSI are separate organizations, the regulations and standards related to safety and health are of paramount consideration for both. In that sense, they are deeply intertwined and should be used together to enhance and strengthen the safety of workers. Worksites that truly put safety first are known to actively follow all relevant OSHA regulations and ANSI standards. 

  • Equipment Use

  • What is the life expectancy of fall protection equipment?

    Safewaze recommends inspection before each use and at least one time annually by a competent person other than the user. If the fall protection product passes inspection, it is safe to use. If a product has experienced a fall, it must be taken out of service for repair or replacement. Full body harnesses and energy absorbing lanyards exposed to a fall arrest need to be immediately removed from service and replaced. [Note: In 2012, ANSI/ASSE A10.32 was removed, so fall protection products do not normally incorporate a mandatory expiration date.]

  • How long can Safewaze products be used before they must be replaced?

    Whereas OSHA and ANSI do not state a mandatory life for any products, Safewaze instructions state that a competent person other than the user should perform an in-depth inspection of products at least annually. Additionally, the user should inspect equipment before each use in accordance with OSHA and ANSI guidelines as stated:   

    • ANSI Z359 fall protection code directs a competent person other than the user inspect products at least once a year. 
    • ANSI A10.32-2004 states that a competent person should inspect products every six months. This is also mandated by ANSI A10.14-1991. 
    • ANSI Z359.14-2014 states that SRLs shall be inspected by the authorized person or rescuer before each use. Additionally, inspections shall be conducted by a competent person other than the user.  
    • OSHA 1910.66 and 1926.502 state that all defective components be removed from service. There is not, however, a guideline for formal inspection periods. There is a requirement for there to be an inspection before each use.
  • I have fall protection equipment from a previous job. Can I use the same equipment on a new job site?

    Every worksite is different and contains its own unique challenges and fall hazards. While most fall protection equipment today is manufactured to be versatile, that does not guarantee that the devices used on the last job are the best solution for a new job. Some applications require job-specific equipment to ensure the safety of workers. 

    For example, those working in fields that do welding or electrical maintenance require a harness made with special materials that offer fire resistance and arc flash protection. The type of lanyard or self-retracting lifeline needed may also change depending on variables such as anchorage locations, fall clearance and the set-up of the worksite. 

    Fall protection equipment will not keep workers safe unless it is the right equipment for the job and used properly. Do not skip the research needed for a new worksite and the auditing of safety equipment to save time or money. Work with a qualified distributor or equipment manufacturer such as Safewaze to determine exactly what is needed. If you do not have the right equipment for the job, workers are not fully protected. Not only can shortcuts create unsafe work conditions and endanger workers, it can multiply the cost in time or money when a citation or accident occurs.

  • Can the FS876 removable concrete hole anchor be used as an anchorage in a horizontal lifeline?

    Yes. The FS876 Removable Concrete Hole Anchor is suitable for use in this application when the structure to which it is attached meets all applicable criteria for anchorage connection per OSHA regulations. The FS876 is suitable for use with horizontal lifelines designed to support two users.

  • Can the FS33310 positioning lanyard be used in fall restraint applications?

    Yes. The FS33310 positioning lanyard is typically used in positioning applications, it is also suitable for use in fall restraint applications. The user must always account for the fully deployed length of the lanyard and the structure to which the lanyard is attached must withstand loads of at least 1000 lbs. applied in the directions permitted by the system.   

    If used in a fall restraint application, this lanyard may only be used on surfaces where the slope does not exceed 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

  • What Are the Minimum and Maximum Weights for My Harness?

    Based on extensive testing, Safewaze harnesses are certified at a user weight rating of 85-420 lbs. including clothing and equipment in accordance with OSHA and ANSI guidelines.

    OSHA regulation and ANSI standard both specify a standard maximum combined weight of user, clothing, tools and equipment of 310 lbs. OSHA allows an exception for a higher capacity provided that equivalent protection is provided and validated by the manufacturer. The ANSI Z359 Fall Protection code requires individual end-user weight ratings within 130 lbs. to 310 lbs. The primary concern around increasing weight capacity involves potential health risks from complications of orthostatic intolerance (suspension trauma) that could be experienced by a worker weighing more than 310 lbs.

    Many full body harnesses manufactured in the United Sates can support additional weight safely. The determining factor in a successful fall arrest for a user in such a situation is the capability of the energy absorbing self-retracting lanyard. When a deceleration device limits maximum arrest forces to less than 1800 lbs. and prevents the user from hitting the next lower lever or an object in the fall path, the harness functions properly in the event of a fall.

    Note that Safewaze products are labelled in accordance with ANSI 130-310 lbs. and OSHA maximum weight capacity of 420 lbs. We have conclusively determined that our equipment maintains an average arrest force within or below the required standards and have verified user weights from 85- 420 lbs. For any further questions on user weights on a personal fall arrest system rated outside the ANSI 130-310 lbs. range, please consult a Safewaze fall protection specialist.

  • General Safety

  • What are the basics of fall protection, often called the ABCs or ABCDs?

    A: Anchorage  

    Anchorage is a secure point of attachment for fall protection equipment and is the literal foundation of fall protection. Anchorage systems vary by industry, job, type of installation and structure. They must be able to support the necessary loads and provide a suitable safety factor. 

    B: Body Wear  

    A full body harness is the most common type of body wear. Harnesses distribute fall forces over the upper thighs, pelvis, chest and shoulders, and provide a connection point on a worker for the personal fall arrest system. 

    C: Connector  

    A connector, such as a shock-absorbing lanyard or a self-retracting lifeline (SRL), securely fastens a worker’s body wear (such as a harness) to the anchorage. 

    D: Descent/Rescue  

    These devices are used to raise or lower a fallen or injured worker to safety. Descent and rescue equipment can also be used to retrieve a worker from a confined space. This important component is often overlooked and requires appropriate advance planning. 

  • Can I tie off at my feet (ground level)?

    Tying off at ground level is not generally recommended and it is best practice to avoid it if at all possible. The difficulty is that it requires a greater degree of clearance between the walking-working surface and the next lower level. Additionally, objects or equipment in the fall path present a significant hazard. In many cases, the available clearance is not uniform across broad areas.

    There are various energy absorbing lanyards and self-retracting devices that are designed for these circumstances with clearance required between levels to safely arrest a fall between 13-18 feet. If we consider steel erection as a benchmark, typical clearances between levels range from 10-15 feet. That leaves little margin for error. When working within a pipe-rack, clearances can be even less.

    The best outcomes will always come from utilizing overhead anchorages. If there is no suitable overhead structure to tie into, horizontal lifelines or portable ballasted devices may be more suitable options. If those measures are not feasible, OSHA does allow free-falls up to twelve feet. However, this is provided that equivalent thresholds of protection are provided to those workers (maximum arrest forces not to exceed 1,800 lbs.) and provided that they do not strike a lower level or an object in the fall path.

  • What is the proper method for marking fall protection harnesses and lanyards?

    Permanent markers use solvents that allow the ink to dry very quickly. Once exposed to the air, the solvents in the permanent markers evaporate almost immediately, leaving just the ink. Neither the solvents nor the ink in permanent markers will cause any harm to nylon or polyester webbings. There may be some discoloration or bleeding between the webbing finish and the color of the marker ink but there will be no loss in breaking strength because of the marker. Safewaze recommends the use of a marker rated for use on items that can be cleaned if the equipment must be marked. 

    Private labeling and taping can also be attached if they do not interfere with the integrity of the webbing or hardware performance characteristics. Safewaze advises against any marking upon factory labels as this may interfere with the readability of the label. Additional grommets, rivets or holes shall not be installed to attach private labels. Do not attach labels, rings or other foreign materials to any of the full body safety harness D-rings or lanyard snaphooks. 

  • What is the life expectancy of fall protection equipment?

    Safewaze recommends inspection before each use and at least one time annually by a competent person other than the user. If the fall protection product passes inspection, it is safe to use. If a product has experienced a fall, it must be taken out of service for repair or replacement. Full body harnesses and energy absorbing lanyards exposed to a fall arrest need to be immediately removed from service and replaced. [Note: In 2012, ANSI/ASSE A10.32 was removed, so fall protection products do not normally incorporate a mandatory expiration date.]

  • How can I tell if a self-retracting lanyard (SRL) has been subject to a fall?

    Since 2012, it has been a requirement of the ANSI/ASSE Z359.14 standard that all self-retracting devices must include a visual indicator that the device has been subjected to a fall. In many cases, this is a simple roll-pin or shear-pin that is part of the snap hook assembly. In the event of a fall, the pin shears off, revealing an identifying collar or mark. 

    For devices featuring a webbing constituent line, the visual indicator may be a simple warning label or flag. It is stitched to the webbing near the nozzle hook at the bottom of the housing and concealed in a section that has been folded and stitched down. The force of the arrest breaks the stitch and reveals the concealed warning label. 

    Check manufacturer instructions for your preferred device for details on the visual indicator and how to determine the go/no-go criteria for your device. Any device that has been involved in a fall cannot be reused. 

  • Can you connect a snap hook into the eye of another hook?

    No. Both OSHA and ANSI standards indicate that two or more snap hooks should not be connected to each other. A snap hook needs to align with the applied load to which it is connected. If the snap hook is attached to the eye of another hook it may not be able to move or rotate when a load is applied, breaking the connection and causing a hazardous situation. 

  • What is the Hierarchy of Fall Protection?

    The Hierarchy of Fall Protection is the preferred order of control for fall hazards. As the hierarchy progresses, so does the level of risk.

    1. Hazard Elimination: Removal of any risk of fall hazard. Zero risk level.
    2. Passive Fall Protection: Placement of physical barriers like guardrails around unprotected edges and covers over open holes.
    3. Fall Restraint Systems: Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to limit a worker’s field of movement, preventing a fall.
    4. Fall Arrest Systems: Use of PPE to reduce the impact of a fall to within acceptable force and clearance margins and prevent striking a lower level.
    5. Administrative Controls: Implementation of workplace practices and procedures which alert a worker to all fall hazards. This is the least preferred method offering no means of physical protection. High risk level.

  • If I fall, how will I get rescued?

    OSHA 1926.502(d)(20) states, “The employer shall provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves.” 

    While this standard addresses the hazard of being suspended by the fall arrest system after an arrested fall, prompt rescue is not defined in the standard. How a rescue occurs to prevent serious injury to the worker is up to the employer. An in-depth analysis of the worksite to consider all potential risk factors associated with rescue is recommended. A written plan should be formulated and distributed to any potentially affected personnel.  

    Simply relying on emergency services does not constitute an effective plan. This is especially true if high-angle rescue might be required or if there are other structural or environmental factors in place that could affect standard rescue procedures. 

  • Harnesses

  • What Are the Minimum and Maximum Weights for My Harness?

    Based on extensive testing, Safewaze harnesses are certified at a user weight rating of 85-420 lbs. including clothing and equipment in accordance with OSHA and ANSI guidelines.

    OSHA regulation and ANSI standard both specify a standard maximum combined weight of user, clothing, tools and equipment of 310 lbs. OSHA allows an exception for a higher capacity provided that equivalent protection is provided and validated by the manufacturer. The ANSI Z359 Fall Protection code requires individual end-user weight ratings within 130 lbs. to 310 lbs. The primary concern around increasing weight capacity involves potential health risks from complications of orthostatic intolerance (suspension trauma) that could be experienced by a worker weighing more than 310 lbs.

    Many full body harnesses manufactured in the United Sates can support additional weight safely. The determining factor in a successful fall arrest for a user in such a situation is the capability of the energy absorbing self-retracting lanyard. When a deceleration device limits maximum arrest forces to less than 1800 lbs. and prevents the user from hitting the next lower lever or an object in the fall path, the harness functions properly in the event of a fall.

    Note that Safewaze products are labelled in accordance with ANSI 130-310 lbs. and OSHA maximum weight capacity of 420 lbs. We have conclusively determined that our equipment maintains an average arrest force within or below the required standards and have verified user weights from 85- 420 lbs. For any further questions on user weights on a personal fall arrest system rated outside the ANSI 130-310 lbs. range, please consult a Safewaze fall protection specialist.

  • What’s the difference between a tongue buckle and a pass-through closure?

    A tongue buckle used with grommets and a pass-through closure are the most common forms of fasteners currently found on full body harnesses. 

    Tongue buckle fasteners incorporate a traditional belt-buckle style closure. They have a prong that fits into a metal grommet which has been inserted into the fabric of the harness. This is a reliable method of closure with the condition of being binary in terms of sizing. There is no room for adjustment between the grommets. With this type of fastener, harness sizing adjustment is typically easier, especially when wearing gloves. 

    Pass-through, or parachute buckles, feature a male/female closure system. The male end passes through the opening in the female buckle creating closure between the two ends. Placement of the web through the buckle typically provides for a higher degree of custom adjustment than tongue buckle fasteners with grommets. Also, use of these buckles tends to reduce the overall weight of the harness depending upon the materials. Pass-through buckles are standard chest strap fasteners on the majority of harnesses. 

    The term “parachute buckle” is sometimes used to describe more contemporary fasteners utilizing a male and female attachment where the female component incorporates a mechanical latching system to hold the male component in place. 

  • HLL

  • Can a horizontal lifeline be used with the Safewaze SW900 Parapet Wall Anchor?

    Yes. The SW900 is suitable for use with a horizontal lifeline as long as the lifeline runs perpendicular to the parapet wall on which the SW900 is installed.  Under no circumstance can a horizontal lifeline be used with a SW900 in a configuration where the lifeline runs parallel with the parapet wall.

  • Can a cross arm strap be used as an anchor point for a horizontal lifeline (HLL)?

    Yes. Safewaze cross arm straps may be used as the anchorage connector component of a compatible HLL system. Suitability must be determined on-site by a competent person. Any length of cross arm strap may be used with an HLL provided the competent person assesses the complete system and determines the strap length will not result in a free fall which exceeds the limits permitted by the system. 

  • Can the FS876 removable concrete hole anchor be used as an anchorage in a horizontal lifeline?

    Yes. The FS876 Removable Concrete Hole Anchor is suitable for use in this application when the structure to which it is attached meets all applicable criteria for anchorage connection per OSHA regulations. The FS876 is suitable for use with horizontal lifelines designed to support two users.

  • What is the proper method for use of Safewaze vertical beam anchors with a horizontal lifeline?

    Safewaze offers a Vertical/Stationary Beam Anchor: 019-4009. Proper installation method as well as HLL attachment, capacities and more, can be found in the anchor’s individual instruction manual.

  • Can a temporary fixed beam anchor be used as an intermediate anchor point for the SafeLink horizontal lifeline system?

    Yes. Use of a temporary fixed beam anchor as an intermediate attachment point for inverted SafeLink installation is an acceptable installation method. 

  • Hooks

  • What is a double-locking snaphook?

    ANSI Z359 defines a snaphook as “a connector comprised of a hook-shaped body with a normally closed gate or similar arrangement that may be opened to permit the hook to receive an object and, when released, automatically closes to retain the object.” 

    Snaphooks typically “snap” closed and generally come in two types:    

    1. Automatic-locking: These hooks have a self-closing and self-locking gate which remains closed and locked until intentionally unlocked and opened for connection or disconnection. Required by ANSI Z359.
    2. Non-locking: These hooks have a self-closing gate which remains closed but not locked until intentionally opened for connection or disconnection. Not permitted by ANSI Z359.

    A double-locking snaphook is an automatic-locking hook. The “double” refers to the two-step action required to unlock and open the gate. It also refers to the self-closing and self-locking operations that take place once the hook is released. 

  • What is a pelican hook?

    A pelican hook usually refers to a hook with a large gate opening, typically in the 60 mm (2-2 ¼ in.) range. These types of hooks are often referred to as “rebar” hooks due to their association with and common incorporation into rebar chain assemblies. These assemblies are used for work positioning when tying rebar.

  • Can you connect a snap hook into the eye of another hook?

    No. Both OSHA and ANSI standards indicate that two or more snap hooks should not be connected to each other. A snap hook needs to align with the applied load to which it is connected. If the snap hook is attached to the eye of another hook it may not be able to move or rotate when a load is applied, breaking the connection and causing a hazardous situation. 

  • Lanyards

  • What is a tie-back lanyard?

    A tie-back lanyard is an energy absorbing lanyard that can wrap around a suitable anchorage structure and then attach (or tie-back) to itself. Equipped with specialized snap hooks, tie-back lanyards are extremely versatile and eliminate the need for a separate anchorage connector. OSHA states that “unless a snap hook is a locking type specifically designed for the purpose of tying back into a lanyard, it shall not be engaged directly to webbing, rope or wire rope.” 

    In the event of a fall, the process of “tying back” a lanyard into itself could expose the snap hook gate to forces that exceed the design specifications and those outlined by ANSI 359.1. In standard, non-tie-back hooks designed for use with fall protection devices, the gate is the weakest portion of the hook. When forces act upon the front or side of a snap hook gate, the hook can break or deform. This issue has created the necessity for a hook specifically designed not to fail under those circumstances. 

    Under no circumstances should a user ever tie a lanyard back into itself unless that lanyard is specifically designed for that purpose.

  • What is a Y or double-leg lanyard?

    A Y lanyard is an energy absorbing lanyard that consists of two separate energy absorbers and end point connectors with only one harness connecting element, which is typically a hook or a web loop. Y lanyards are sometimes called a 100% tie-off, double-leg or twin leg lanyard. 

    From a functional standpoint, Y lanyards work in the same way as a single-leg lanyard. In the event of a fall, they decelerate the user and absorb the energy generated by the fall. The incorporation of the second leg is designed to offer the user a way to work along distances where multiple anchor points are available and the distance exceeds the length of a single lanyard leg. In these cases, where the user must remain tied off 100% of the time, the user can attach to an anchor point with the first leg. This allows the user to traverse the distance allowed by the first lanyard, attach the second lanyard to the next suitable anchor point, detach the first lanyard and then proceed. 

    Multiple scenarios exist where Y lanyards can be used dependent upon the nature of the user’s movement within the workspace.  

  • What is the difference between a positioning lanyard and an energy or shock absorbing lanyard?

    A positioning lanyard is one component of a positioning device system. A positioning device system is used for fall restraint rather than fall arrest and consists of three parts: a belt or body harness, a lanyard and an anchor point. The positioning lanyard is the device which connects the harness to an anchor point and permits falls of 2 ft. or less. All positioning equipment must meet OSHA and ANSI standards. 

    An energy absorbing lanyard is used with a personal fall arrest system, which is different than a positioning device system. A fall arrest system’s goal is to lessen any forces on a worker’s body during a fall. ANSI standards allow for various ways of accomplishing this, such as the tearing of materials or breaking of stitches. These lanyards can be worn by the user or be part of a horizontal or vertical lifeline subsystem. 

    If potential for a fall exists, an energy absorbing lanyard is preferred over a positioning lanyard. Also note that if a worker is using a positioning device with a personal fall arrest system, they should utilize a harness that is designed to have attachment points for BOTH systems. 

  • Can the FS33310 positioning lanyard be used in fall restraint applications?

    Yes. The FS33310 positioning lanyard is typically used in positioning applications, it is also suitable for use in fall restraint applications. The user must always account for the fully deployed length of the lanyard and the structure to which the lanyard is attached must withstand loads of at least 1000 lbs. applied in the directions permitted by the system.   

    If used in a fall restraint application, this lanyard may only be used on surfaces where the slope does not exceed 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

  • What is the best lanyard for the job?

    In a personal fall arrest system (PFAS), a lanyard connects your harness to an anchor point or to a horizontal or vertical lifeline, which acts as an intermediate connection to the anchor.

    While lanyards are typically 6' in length, shorter and longer options are available. Always select the shortest possible lanyard. Lanyards should be long enough to allow adequate job site work without creating undue free fall distance.

    Even a minimal fall can create tremendous force. For example, a 200 lb. worker falling 10 feet is subject to 8,000 lbs. of force in an abrupt dynamic drop. A properly selected and installed PFAS lanyard can drastically reduce the force to below 1,800 lbs., preventing serious injury.

    When selecting the best lanyard for the job, ask:

    • What is the fall clearance to the next level?
    • Where is the anchor point located, above or below the harness D-ring?
    • Will you plan for fall arrest or eliminate the hazard by using a positioning lanyard?
    • Will you be working near or over what ANSI defines as a leading edge?
    • What is the right material for your lanyard based on the environment?
    • What lanyard connectors do I need to properly tie off?

    LANYARD MATERIALS

    • Webbing – The flexible and dependable choice for most applications.
    • Rope – For increased abrasion resistance and strength.
    • Cable – Ideal for high heat or leading edge environments.
    • Specialty – Coated webbing for protection against grease, oil, or other contaminants.
    • Aramid – Webbing for fire, welding, or arc flash conditions. 

    CONNECTOR

    • Soft Loop – Chokes the lanyard harness attachment point.
    • Snap Hook – The most common option for small anchor points.
    • Carabiner – A twist lock gate alternative to hooks.
    • Scaffolding/Rebar Hook – Offers a larger gate opening for a variety of structural connections.
    • Tie-Back Hook – Specially built for applications where a standard anchor or connection is unavailable.
  • SRLs

  • What is the difference between a self-retracting lanyard and a self-retracting lifeline?

    These two terms are interchangeable and both are acceptable. Self-retracting lanyard is the common term based on the types and classes of self-retracting devices that were further defined in the ANSI/ASSE Z359.14 standard in 2014.

  • What is the difference between a Class A and Class B self-retracting lanyard (SRL)?

    These classes describe the distance the SRL can unwind before stopping and the amount of force allowed on the worker. The classes are defined in the ANSI Z359.14 fall protection standard: 

    • Class A SRL devices must limit average fall arrest forces to a maximum of 1350 lbs. and limit potential lifeline deployment to 24 inches or less
    • Class B SRL devices must limit average fall arrest forces to a maximum of 900 lbs. and limit potential lifeline deployment to 54 inches or less.   
    • Both Class A and Class B SRL devices must limit the maximum arresting force to 1800 lbs. or less

  • Should a personal self-retracting lanyard (SRL) be worn on my back or should I connect to it like a full size SRL?

    This depends on the application. While it is rare to see personal SRLs mounted to any overhead anchorages of a larger traditional unit, a common exception is when these devices are mounted to order-picking lift trucks. Since the walking-working surface is so small and there is an integrated anchorage overhead, this is a practical solution in that situation. 

    Either way, always be sure to mount and/or wear these devices in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer and any qualified persons at the worksite will always be the best resource for guidance on what is appropriate for your equipment.

  • What’s the difference between a personal self-retracting lanyard (SRL) and a full size SRL?

    The most noticeable difference is size or the working length. Most personal SRLs are offered in lengths of 6-12 feet. Anything longer can become difficult to manage. Since these devices are generally used interchangeably with energy absorbing lanyards, there is an expectation that they be small and reasonably lightweight. 

    Another difference is material. The constituent line in a personal SRL is typically webbing to lower the size and weight. Larger, full-size SRLs more frequently use wire rope. Wire rope is heavier and requires a wider drum diameter to be effectively wound. 

    Finally, most full size SRLs utilize an internal rotary brake to manage energy absorption. With size and weight constraints for personal devices, this is considered impractical. External tear-tape energy absorbers are generally used on smaller devices.

  • Why do some personal self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) have a separate shock absorber?

    Personal SRL devices most often incorporate a separate or external tear-tape energy absorber instead of an internal rotary brake because they are smaller and have restrictions on size and weight. Internal rotary brakes are heavy and complicate the use of personal SRL devices, especially when considering the need for a reserve line. 

    Safewaze external energy absorbers allow for easy use of personal SRL devices while maintaining high-capacity energy absorption.

  • How can I tell if a self-retracting lanyard (SRL) has been subject to a fall?

    Since 2012, it has been a requirement of the ANSI/ASSE Z359.14 standard that all self-retracting devices must include a visual indicator that the device has been subjected to a fall. In many cases, this is a simple roll-pin or shear-pin that is part of the snap hook assembly. In the event of a fall, the pin shears off, revealing an identifying collar or mark. 

    For devices featuring a webbing constituent line, the visual indicator may be a simple warning label or flag. It is stitched to the webbing near the nozzle hook at the bottom of the housing and concealed in a section that has been folded and stitched down. The force of the arrest breaks the stitch and reveals the concealed warning label. 

    Check manufacturer instructions for your preferred device for details on the visual indicator and how to determine the go/no-go criteria for your device. Any device that has been involved in a fall cannot be reused. 

  • How often do self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) need to be recertified by the factory?

    Recertification is dependent upon the manufacturer. Some manufacturers do not require recertification or periodic factory authorized service. Other manufacturers typically suggest a recertification every 1-2 years. The ANSI/ASSE Z359.14 standard published in 2012 includes a specific schedule as a normative part of the standard. In 2014, the schedule was revised to be optional due to complaints registered by a small number of manufacturers and end-users.

  • What is the average arrest force of your FS-FSP1230 and FS-FSP1250 self-retracting lanyards (SRLs)?

    Per ANSI Z359.14 testing, the units must have an average arrest force of 900 lbs. or less in order to meet ANSI guidelines. Independent testing of Safewaze FS-FSP1230 and FS-FSP1250 series SRLs indicated a maximum average arrest force of 2.97 kN or 667.68 lbs. of force, falling well below the 900 lb. limit. 

  • Can a self-retracting lanyard (SRL) be used in aerial or elevating work platforms?

    When work requires the use of an aerial or elevating work platform (such as a scissor lift or boom lift), the preferred connection method is with an adjustable, non-energy absorbing lanyard designed to prevent the user from going over a rail.   

    Safewaze SRL devices are authorized for use in either a scissor lift or boom lift as long as the user is continually working from the main platform of the lift. Climbing onto the safety rails or side of the work platform is prohibited. When using a Safewaze SRL in a lift, it is recommended that a Class A SRL be utilized for a higher degree of performance. This is informed by the ANSI Z359.14 standard. 

    Note that if the worksite is operating under EM 385-1-1 guidelines, SRL devices are authorized for use in scissor lifts as long as the manufacturer specifies that they are suitable for such use. SRL devices are not authorized for use with a boom lift.

  • Standards/Procedures

  • Can I tie off at my feet (ground level)?

    Tying off at ground level is not generally recommended and it is best practice to avoid it if at all possible. The difficulty is that it requires a greater degree of clearance between the walking-working surface and the next lower level. Additionally, objects or equipment in the fall path present a significant hazard. In many cases, the available clearance is not uniform across broad areas.

    There are various energy absorbing lanyards and self-retracting devices that are designed for these circumstances with clearance required between levels to safely arrest a fall between 13-18 feet. If we consider steel erection as a benchmark, typical clearances between levels range from 10-15 feet. That leaves little margin for error. When working within a pipe-rack, clearances can be even less.

    The best outcomes will always come from utilizing overhead anchorages. If there is no suitable overhead structure to tie into, horizontal lifelines or portable ballasted devices may be more suitable options. If those measures are not feasible, OSHA does allow free-falls up to twelve feet. However, this is provided that equivalent thresholds of protection are provided to those workers (maximum arrest forces not to exceed 1,800 lbs.) and provided that they do not strike a lower level or an object in the fall path.

  • What is the difference between a Class A and Class B self-retracting lanyard (SRL)?

    These classes describe the distance the SRL can unwind before stopping and the amount of force allowed on the worker. The classes are defined in the ANSI Z359.14 fall protection standard: 

    • Class A SRL devices must limit average fall arrest forces to a maximum of 1350 lbs. and limit potential lifeline deployment to 24 inches or less
    • Class B SRL devices must limit average fall arrest forces to a maximum of 900 lbs. and limit potential lifeline deployment to 54 inches or less.   
    • Both Class A and Class B SRL devices must limit the maximum arresting force to 1800 lbs. or less

  • What is the maximum free fall distance allowed by ANSI and OSHA standards?

    The ANSI Z359 Fall Protection Code allows for a 6-foot maximum free fall distance. OSHA allows the free fall distance to exceed 6 feet as long as: [1] the employer can demonstrate that the fall protection equipment in use is designed to allow a free fall greater than 6 feet; [2] the arresting forces are below 1800 lbs. for a full body harness system; and [3] there is suitable fall clearance. 

  • What is a “timely manner” for rescue according to ANSI and OSHA?

    The ANSI Z359.2-2007 standard recommends less than six minutes to contact an injured worker. OSHA requires medical aid to an injured worker within four to six minutes. 

    For all fall protection programs, both internal and external rescue services should be carefully evaluated in advance to determine which options are suitable for the specific worksite.

  • Which national safety standard is the best guide for using fall protection equipment properly?

    ANSI standard Z359.2 is usually considered the best. It details all employer responsibilities for providing fall protection to workers in general industry and construction and goes above-and-beyond the minimum requirements. OSHA, another leading guide, references all ANSI Z359 standards as requirements under OSHA’s General Duty Clause.  

  • What are the most common violations and penalties being cited for fall protection violations?

    OSHA reports that fall protection continues to be the most frequently violated safety guideline year after year. Additionally, the CDC confirms that falls are the leading cause of construction-worker fatalities. 

    There were over 6,000 violations of “Fall Protection – General Requirements 1926.501” in 2019, nearly double the amount of the next category. The top 10 violations also included Ladders (1926.1053) in 6th place and fall protection training requirements (1926.503) in 8th place. 

    OSHA reports that over $71.5 million dollars in citations were issued for the 2019 fiscal year. Below are the maximum penalty amounts with the annual adjustment for inflation being charged after Jan. 15, 2021. (See OSHA Memo, Jan 8, 2021). 

    • Serious, Other-Than-Serious, Posting Requirements: $13,653 per violation
    • Failure to Abate: $13,653 per day beyond the abatement date
    • Willful or Repeated: $136,532 per violation
  • What is the difference between OSHA and ANSI?

    OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) are both important organizations focused on keeping workers safe. While there is overlap between the two, their roles are different. 

    OSHA is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor charged with setting and enforcing safety regulations in the workplace. OSHA also provides training, outreach, education and assistance to workers in order to increase awareness and understanding of these regulations. OSHA regulations are governing law and therefore mandatory, meaning all workplaces and employers must comply. Those who do not comply can face serious consequences, including citations and hefty fines. OSHA regulations are established to ensure safe working conditions. Due to the lengthy process involved in making updates, they often fall short of delivering the most comprehensive and up-to-date safety information.  

    ANSI is a non-governmental body which exists to promote and facilitate voluntary consensus standards (guidelines that are universally accepted). Some of these standards are aimed at improving worker safety on the job, such as the Z359 series for fall protection. ANSI standards are recommended guidelines which better represent the thinking of industry experts. They are more in-depth than OSHA regulations, generally more current and require revision or reaffirmation every five years. A significant number of ANSI recommendations relate to fall arrest equipment and PPE, acting to fill the gaps in OSHA’s fall protection regulations. There are cases where OSHA does not have published rules which address specific issues, so they often look to manufacturer guidelines. ANSI standards serve to fill those holes with best-practice, easy-to-understand guidelines. 

    ANSI standards are not mandatory and following them is not required by law. While manufacturers and employers can choose to ignore ANSI standards without facing any monetary penalty, doing so could place worker safety in jeopardy. 

    Even though OSHA and ANSI are separate organizations, the regulations and standards related to safety and health are of paramount consideration for both. In that sense, they are deeply intertwined and should be used together to enhance and strengthen the safety of workers. Worksites that truly put safety first are known to actively follow all relevant OSHA regulations and ANSI standards. 

  • If I fall, how will I get rescued?

    OSHA 1926.502(d)(20) states, “The employer shall provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves.” 

    While this standard addresses the hazard of being suspended by the fall arrest system after an arrested fall, prompt rescue is not defined in the standard. How a rescue occurs to prevent serious injury to the worker is up to the employer. An in-depth analysis of the worksite to consider all potential risk factors associated with rescue is recommended. A written plan should be formulated and distributed to any potentially affected personnel.  

    Simply relying on emergency services does not constitute an effective plan. This is especially true if high-angle rescue might be required or if there are other structural or environmental factors in place that could affect standard rescue procedures. 

  • Can an overhead crane be used as a fall protection anchorage point?

    OSHA allows workers to tie off directly to a non-moving crane or below the hook attachment in construction applications. OSHA states that a personal fall arrest system is permitted to be anchored to the crane’s hook when the following requirement is met: a qualified person has determined that the setup and rated capacity of the crane including the hook, load line and rigging meets or exceeds the requirements outlined in 1926.1423(d)(15) as stated below: 

    (15) Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached; or shall be designed, installed and used as follows:
    (i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two
    (ii) under the supervision of a qualified person

    OSHA does not define how many workers can be tied off to the approved hook at one time. Most assume that it is only one and many companies limit the maximum number of workers to two. The safety professional in charge must use his or her professional judgment to determine what is safest for that particular application. 

    For general industry, OSHA can allow direct attachment to a crane only if you are following OSHA’s hierarchy of controls. This means that the crane attachment point, crane controls and administrative controls must be engineered or validated by a qualified person. Contact your local OSHA office for proper clarifications. 

    For fall protection coverage in linear work areas, a qualified engineer can add an enclosed track anchorage system along crane bridges. In this situation, the administrative controls require the crane to be locked out and tagged out before using its structure as a fall arrest anchorage point. 

  • What is a leading edge hazard?

    A simple way to answer is to ask if there is any chance that the connecting device may come into contact with an edge. If the SRL or lanyard may hit the outer limit of a structure, such as the edge of a roof or side of a beam or deck, the answer is yes. OSHA 1926.751 states:

    Leading edge means the unprotected side and edge of a floor, roof, or formwork for a floor or other walking/working surface (such as deck) which changes location as additional floor, roof, decking or formwork sections are placed, formed or constructed.

    Attributes:

    • Worker may be tied off below D-ring or at foot level
    • Often a sharp or abrasive unfinished part of working surface
    • Edge changes as the work continues or progresses

    Hazards:

    • Rough edges may cut or fray device cable or webbing
    • Extreme force when connection hits edge can damage device
    • Worker subject to longer falls before fall arrest system activates
    • Worker subject to greater arrest forces due to isolated cable or webbing over the edge
    • Increased swing fall potential for fallen worker

    Compliance:

    • PPE designed, tested and rated specifically for leading edge
    • OSHA requires specialized LE fall protection equipment for any work within 6’ of leading edge

    Bottom Line: To ensure worker safety, use only fall protection equipment specifically labeled for leading edge in a leading edge situation.