Tech Talk Blog

Calculating Fall Distance Clearance Requirements

During a site visit, we often busy ourselves gathering information to determine if a building’s roof structure, as well as the interior beams, columns, and trusses can withstand the forces generated during fall arrest.  We also collect information on fall clearance distances because fall arrest system is only as good as its ability to ensure you don’t hit the ground—or objects below the work area.

Most clients grasp structure fairly quickly, but fall clearance distance is tricky because its calculation depends on a number of variables including the type of anchor point, the PPE used to form the connection between the anchor point and the worker, and the anchor point’s location. 

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Self-Retracting Lifelines for Sharp Leading Edges

I-Beam-Sharp-EdgesWhat is the best fall arrest option for workers exposed to sharp, unprotected leading edges?   To explore this scenario, imagine a construction worker tied off using a traditional lanyard at foot level and installing steel decking.

If the worker falls, the webbed lanyard will run over a sharp, I-Beam with an edge radius ranging from .005″ to .032”. The I-beam may not appear sharp to the untrained eye, but looks are often deceiving.  If our hypothetical fall victim selects the wrong PPE, our accident scenario can lead to catastrophic results.

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SRL’s vs. Lanyards: Choosing the Correct PPE for Your Fall Protection Application

If you are a frequent visitor to our Tech Talk area, you have read articles discussing the ABCD’s of fall protection.  This easy-to-remember acronym (anchorage, body harness, connecting device, and descent) is reasonably straightforward, but some folks get confused over connecting devices.  Workers create connections between their body harness and the anchorage point using two distinct methodologies:  (i) Self-Retracting Lifelines and (ii) Shock Absorbing Lanyards.  Both of these options have pros and cons, and clients often ask which approach is better.    If you find yourself wondering which option is better, the answer depends on budget and, more importantly, the specifics of the application.

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The ABCD’s of Fall Arrest Systems

For years, folks in the fall protection industry have preached the ABC’s of personal fall arrest systems:  Anchorage, Body Support, and Connecting Devices.  This is a great start because the approach has us thinking systematically.  The phrase is easy to remember, and it prompts workers and EHS managers to think about fall arrest systems in a holistic manner, but is this enough to guarantee the safety of your employees?

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Three Keys To An Effective Fall Protection Plan

If you manage or supervise employees working at heights, you know you need a fall protection plan, but what exactly constitutes an effective plan that will meet OSHA standards and keep your staff safe?  If you are more of a visual learner than a reader, our new video explaining the three components of an effective fall protection plan–solutions, rescue, and recertification–is for you.  To watch this informative video tutorial, click on the arrow in the image below:

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Did You Know?

Anytime that work is being performed on a roof that has a pitch of 4:12 or higher, fall protection must be used at all times?