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Posted on: July 30, 2012 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Personal Fall Arrest System (Part 1)

Each employee walking/working where they are exposed to a fall of 6 feet or more must be protected from falling by guardrails system, safety net system or personal fall arrest system.  Areas that require fall protection include, but are not limited to aerial lifts, scaffolds, ladders, leading edge work, pipe racks and roofs.

 

  • A personal fall arrest system consists of anchorage, connectors, a lanyard, a deceleration device, a lifeline and a full body harness.  All must have a tensile strength of at least 5000 lbs.
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for associated equipment used in your personal fall arrest system.
  • Fall protection equipment shall be used only for employee protection, not for any other purpose including hoisting material.

Full Body Harness

  • Check the harness to ensure it is fitting snug and that the D-ring is in the center between the shoulder blades.
  • A full body harness must be worn.  Body belts are not allowed.

Shock Absorbing Lanyard

  • The shock absorbing end of the lanyard shall be attached your body harness.  The other end of the lanyard shall be connected to your anchor point.
  • Never connect a shock-absorbing lanyard to a retractable lanyard.
  • Do not connect the unused leg of the lanyard back to the harness unless a specially designed lanyard retainer is provided.
  • Never connect more than one employee to a lanyard.

Self Retracting Lifelines

  • The employee should work in the recommended working area at normal speeds.  If the employee makes a move quickly the lifeline will catch.
  • The lifeline should extend smoothly and retract without hesitation.
  • If slack is found during normal use the unit shall be tagged and removed from service.
  • A short rope may be used to extend or retract the lifeline during connection and disconnection.  Keeping the lifeline fully extended for long periods may cause weakening of the retraction springs.
  • Retractable lanyards or lanyards shall be protected against being cut or abraded.

 

Tie-off Adapter

  • Inspect the anchorage connector attachment point for corrosion, cracks, deformities or other defects that may weaken the structure.
  • Do not attach to vertical structures unless a means of restraining the connector from sliding down the structure is present.
  • Place the tie-off adapter over the anchorage with the labels facing out.  The D-ring must hang below the anchorage point.  With the tie-off adapter positioned on the anchorage, pass the small D-ring through the large D-ring.  Pull the small D-ring down to take slack that was made by moving the large D-ring up.  The adapter should be tightly wrapped around the anchorage with the small D-ring hanging.  The strap may be wrapped more than once to shorten the strap.

Inspection

  • The personal fall arrest system equipment shall be inspected prior to each use by the person using the equipment.  It should be inspected for tears, cuts, burns, abrasions, discoloration or any other types of damage.  If found defective it shall be immediately tagged and removed from service.
  • A competent person shall inspect the equipment at least quarterly.
  • Any equipment subjected to impact loading shall e immediately removed from service.

Storage

Store equipment in a cool, dry, clean environment out of direct sunlight.

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