Duty to Have Fall Protection
Each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet or more above a lower level where leading edges are under construction, but is not engaged in the leading edge work, shall be protected from falling by a guardrail 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, working from ladders close to guardrails and roofs. Gribbins Insulation adheres to a 100% fall protection rule.
Guardrails – must have vertical posts spaced no more than 8 feet apart, top rails should be 42” above the walking/working surface plus or minus 3” and capable of withstanding 200 lbs, mid rails shall be installed half way between the top rail and platform and capable of withstanding 150 lbs of side force, and toe boards shall be placed at floor level with no more than 1/2” opening and capable of withstand 50 lbs of side force.
Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) – consist of anchorage, connectors, lanyard, deceleration device, a life line and full body harness, all must have a tensile strength of at least 5000 lbs, you must comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper use and design, fall protection equipment shall only be used for employee protection, any equipment subject to impact loading shall be immediately removed from service, all components of the PFAS should be compatible. Full Body Harness – back d-ring shall be located in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades and leg straps shall be securely attached, harnesses are good for 5 years. Shock Absorbing Lanyard – shock absorbing end shall be attached to the harness, shall not be connected to a retractable lanyard and unused legs of the lanyard shall not be attached back to the harness unless a specifically designed lanyard retainer is provided, shall not be tied in knots, are good for 3 years. Connectors – double locking snap hooks are required, only one snap hook shall be connected to a d-ring, never connect two snap hooks together, never connect the snap hook back to the lanyard unless specifically designed for that purpose and never connect a snap hook in which the snap hook will not fully close and lock.
Planning – Plan your fall protection system and how it will be used before starting your work. Consider all factors that will affect your safety before, during and after a fall. Anchorage Points – shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 lbs, shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms, hand rails are not an adequate anchorage point. Free Fall – OSHA requires the maximum arresting force to be placed on an employee not to exceed 1,800 lbs to achieve this PFAS must be rigged so the potential free fall is never great than 6 ft, always tie off above you head. Swing Falls – occur when the anchorage point is not directly above the point where a fall occurs, the force of striking an object may cause serious injury, review the specific requirements for your retractable, but work as directly below the anchorage point as possible. Fall Clearance – ensure adequate clearance exists in your path to prevent striking objects below. When using a 6 ft shock absorbing lanyard, it is recommend you give yourself at least 18 ½ ft clearance below. That is the distance it will take you to come to a complete stop. If you do not have that amount of clearance, a self-retracting lanyard must be used. Sharp Edges – provide protection if lifelines or lanyards will come into contact with sharp edges. Rescue – a rescue plan must be in place before a PFAS is used. If there is a fall, rescue must occur within 15 minutes.
Inspection – PFAS shall be inspected prior to each use by the person using the equipment. It should be inspected for tears, cuts, burns, abrasion, chemicals, date it is manufactured, discoloration or any other types of damage. Tags shall also be inspected to ensure the date it is manufactured and serial number are legible. If found to be defective or tags are not legible, it shall be immediately tagged and removed from service. PFAS shall be inspected by a competent person at least quarterly.