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Assuring Fall Protection When Working At Heights Stan Liang, CIH, CSP, CET KTA-Tator, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Assuring Fall Protection When Working At Heights Stan Liang, CIH, CSP, CET KTA-Tator, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assuring Fall Protection When Working At Heights Stan Liang, CIH, CSP, CET KTA-Tator, Inc.

2 Webinar Objectives  Brief overview of the following: When fall protection is required Approaches for controlling fall hazards Proper usage of fall protection OSHA fall protection requirements  Resources for additional information

3 Fall Hazards in the Workplace Third most common cause of fatalities Virtually all fatalities are preventable, according to an OSHA study

4 Fall Protection Even brief exposures to fall hazards not permitted by OSHA 100% fall protection policies are necessary

5 Causes of Falls Personal factors (i.e., lack of concentration, illness) Environmental factors (i.e., poor lighting, slippery surfaces, weather) Poor housekeeping Poor planning

6 Fall Protection / Fall Prevention Systems Plan for fall protection in advance Eliminate fall hazards where possible (e.g. use alternatives to personal fall arrest such as aerial lifts)

7 Fall Protection / Fall Prevention Systems Fall prevention –Guardrail systems –Covers for openings Fall protection –Personal fall arrest systems –Safety nets

8 Regulation Overview 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M - Fall Protection

9 Subpart M Scope, application, and definitions Duty to have fall protection Fall protection systems criteria and practices Training requirements

10 Subpart M Appendices Appendix A – Determining Roof Widths Appendix B – Guardrail Systems Appendix C – Personal Fall Arrest Appendix D – Positioning Devices Appendix E – Sample Fall Protection Plan

11 Scope and Application Subpart M outlines the requirements and criteria for fall protection in all construction work places covered under 29 CFR 1926.

12 Duty to Have Fall Protection Requirements for employers to provide fall protection Applies to unprotected side or edge six (6) feet or more above a lower level

13 Protection from Falling Objects When an employee is exposed to falling objects, the employer must require workers to wear hard hats and implement one of the following: –Install toe boards, screens, or guardrail systems; or –Install a canopy structure; or –Install barricades and keep employees from entering the barricaded area

14 General Requirements Provide and install all fall protection systems before the employee begins work that necessitates fall protection

15 Guardrail Requirements 42-inch height requirements (+/– 3 inches) Mid rails, screens, mesh or equivalent structural member Screens and mesh, if used, must extend from the top rail to the walking/working level and along the entire opening between top rail supports

16 Guardrail Requirements Intermediate members, if used, must not be more than 19 inches apart Guardrails must withstand a force of 200 pounds on the top rail Mid rails must be able to withstand a force of 150 pounds Must be smooth to prevent cuts or clothing snags

17 Guardrail Requirements Must be at least 1/4 inch diameter (wire rope) Use high visibility flagging at 6 foot intervals if wire rope guardrails are used If used around accessways, offset or provide one guardrail with a gate Inspect fiber rope guardrails as necessary

18 Safety Net Requirements Installed as close to the work surface as possible, but in no case more than 30 feet below such level Sufficient clearance under them to prevent contact with any surface or structure below

19 Safety Net Requirements Safety nets must extend outward from the structure as follows: Distance fromHorizontal working surface distance beyond to ground structure up to 5 feet 8 feet 5 to 10 feet10 feet over 10 feet13 feet

20 Safety Net Requirements Test when installed or relocated Inspect once per week Remove tools and other debris as soon as possible

21 Safety Net Requirements Maximum mesh size shall be 36 square inches (6" on a side) Connections between net panels shall not be more than 6" apart

22 Holes Control fall hazards via personal fall arrest, covers or guardrails. Protect employees on walking/working surfaces from tripping hazards. Protect employees from objects that may fall through holes.

23 Covers Capable of supporting twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials Secured to prevent accidental displacement Marked with the word “HOLE” or “COVER” or color coded

24 Personal Fall Arrest Systems A Personal Fall Arrest System includes: –Anchorage –Connectors (snap hooks) and D-Rings –Lanyard (dual lanyard for 100% fall protection) –Full body harness Other components may include a self-retracting lifeline, vertical and horizontal lifelines, and a rope grab device As of 1/1/98, the use of body belts is prohibited

25 Personal Fall Arrest Systems Injury is still possible when personal fall arrest is used Personal fall arrest is a last resort Investigate alternatives before using personal fall arrest

26 General Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems Must limit the maximum arresting force on a worker to 1800 pounds Lanyard must be connected to D-ring on harness between the shoulder blades Anchorage should be at the same level or higher than the harness D-ring height

27 Personal Fall Arrest Systems System must be rigged so that the employee: –Cannot free fall more than six (6) feet –Is brought to a complete stop with a minimum deceleration distance of 3.5 feet

28 Personal Fall Arrest Systems Ensure that adequate clearance is available when using personal fall arrest systems. With a 6 foot lanyard, 18.5 feet of clearance is needed.

29 Personal Fall Arrest System Where there is inadequate clearance for a 6 foot lanyard: –Use a shorter lanyard –Move anchorage point higher –Use a retractable lifeline –Consider alternative to personal fall arrest systems, such as a restraint system

30 Anchor Points Importance of anchor point selection: –Strength of the entire personal fall arrest system is dependent on the strength of the connection to the anchor point Anchor point criteria: –5000 lb. per employee attached –Safety factor of at least 2 –Not used to support other equipment

31 Anchorage Points Use of existing structures - most likely scenario: –A “qualified person” must evaluate each “make-shift” anchor point –In general guardrail systems or scaffold platforms should not be used as anchor points

32 Anchor Points Swing Falls Keep anchor point overhead to prevent swing fall hazards Pendulum like motion can result in injuries due to collision with objects

33 Anchorage Points Use beam clamps or other temporary connectors specifically designed for use in fall protection system. Do not wrap a lanyard around the anchorage – unless designed by the manufacturer for this type of connection

34 Horizontal Lifelines Design must be by a qualified person (with a safety factor of at least two) Multiple tie offs only if permitted by qualified person

35 Vertical Lifelines One person per vertical lifeline Minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs Minimum 12 feet of lifeline below lowest point of travel or extend lifeline to ground Weight or tie off bottom of line

36 Vertical Lifelines Rope Grabs Must be compatible with the lifeline Installed with directional arrow pointing up Should be equipped with “anti panic” feature

37 Lanyards Knots in lanyard or lifeline reduce strength 50% Do not connect one or more lanyards together Consider retractable, horizontal, and vertical lifelines or different anchorage when a lanyard is too short

38 Lanyards Looping a rope lanyard or lifeline around an “I” beam can reduce system strength by 70%. Use: –Cross arm straps –Web lanyard –Wire rope lanyard –Padding to avoid sharp edges

39 Snaphooks and Caribiners Must be locking type Compatible with anchorage Caribiners must be the “auto lock” type

40 Harness Breakaway Clip Used for attachment of unused dual lanyard snap hook. Prevents “blow out” failure during a fall

41 Rescue Procedures Employers relying on personal fall arrest systems must have pre-planned rescue procedures or make sure workers can rescue themselves in the event of a fall. The availability of rescue personnel, ladders, or other equipment should be considered. Use the buddy system.

42 Inspection Prior to each use, check equipment for: CutsDeterioration TearsContact with fire or corrosives AbrasionsDistorted parts MoldLoose or damaged mountings StretchingNon-functioning parts AlterationsFading RottingDeterioration WearVisible reduction in rope diameter

43 Inspection Do not use equipment previously used to arrest a fall. Discard fall protection heavily contaminated with paint or other chemicals. Do not mix equipment from different manufacturers.

44 Cleaning Fall Protection Wash harnesses and lanyards with warm soapy water followed by fresh water rinse Do not use industrial solvents on synthetic material Do not oil parts unless directed by manufacturer

45 Fall Protection Storage Keep synthetic materials away from direct sunlight Store in a cool, dry place

46 Positioning Devices Positioning devices must meet the requirements of 29 CFR , paragraph (e). Requirements include anchorage strength, maximum free fall permitted, and equipment inspections. Applies to restraint systems

47 Roofing Work on Low-Slope Roofs Options for fall protection include: –Guardrail systems –Personal fall arrest –Safety nets –Guardrail/warning line systems –Warning line/safety net –Warning line/personal fall arrest –Warning line/safety monitor

48 Wall Openings Fall protection is required under the following conditions: –Outside bottom edge is more than 6 feet above a lower level; and –Inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches above the walking/working surface

49 Wall Openings Options for fall protection include: –Guardrails –Safety nets –Personal fall arrest

50 Additional Fall Hazards Regulated by OSHA Hoist areas – guard rails and personal fall arrest Formwork and reinforcing steel – personal fall arrest, positioning device systems Excavations – guard rails (when excavation can not be readily seen) Dangerous equipment - guard rails or equipment guards

51 Additional Fall Hazards Regulated by OSHA (cont.) Leading edges – guard rails, safety nets, personal fall arrest Steep roofs – guard rails, safety nets, personal fall arrest Residential construction – guard rails, personal fall arrest, or safety nets

52 Training Requirements Fall hazards in the work area Erecting, assembling and maintaining fall protection Use and operation of fall protection equipment Handling and storage of materials and the erection of overhead protection Requirements of the standard

53 Ladder Safety Fall prevention systems (e.g. ladder climbing devices) are only required for fixed ladders. Fixed ladders must have fall protection when the height exceeds 24 feet.

54 Fixed Ladder Fall Protection Options Ladder climbing safety device Self retracting lifeline Cage

55 Fixed Ladder Cages Rest platforms required at 50 foot intervals Prevents falls due to exhaustion

56 OSHA Scaffold Standard Fall Protection Requirements Fall protection is required when employees are more than 10 feet above a lower level. Fall protection is required for erection or dismantling of scaffolds, if the competent person determines it is feasible. Temporary containment platforms are regulated by OSHA as scaffolds

57 Scaffolds

58 Major OSHA Requirements for Aerial Lifts Fall protection worn and anchored to boom or basket Stand firmly on the floor of the basket Fall protection can not be connected to adjacent pole, structure, or equipment

59 Additional Information 29 CFR 1926 Subpart L (Scaffolds) 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M (Fall Protection) 29 CFR Subpart X (Ladders and Stairways) OSHA compliance directives (Scaffolds CPL ) and letters of interpretation Equipment manufacturers Health and safety professionals

60 Questions


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