Using fall arrest systems safely
July 15, 2014
Ensure that personal fall arrest systems will, when stopping a fall:
- Limit maximum arresting force to 1,800 pounds.
- Be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor contact any lower level.
- Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance to 3½ feet.
- Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of a worker free falling a distance of 6 feet, or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less
- Remove systems and components from service immediately if they have been subjected to fall impact, until inspected by a competent person and deemed undamaged and suitable for use.
- Promptly rescue employees in the event of a fall, or assure that they are able to rescue themselves.
- Inspect systems before each use for wear, damage, and other deterioration, and remove defective components from service.
- Do not attach fall arrest systems to guardrail systems or hoists.
- Rig fall arrest systems to allow movement of the worker only as far as the edge of the walking/working surface, when used at hoist areas.
- 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M, Fall protection. OSHA Standard.
- 1926.502, Fall protection systems criteria and practices
- 1926.502(d), Personal fall arrest systems
- Interpretations and Clarifications - Subpart M -- Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.500-503).OSHA, (1995, February).
- Worker Deaths by Falls: A Summary of Surveillance Findings and Investigative Case Reports. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication 2000-116, (2000, September).