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Horizontal Lifelines For Roof Applications

Roof Horizontal Lifelines are cabled-based systems utilized for fall arrest and fall restraint purposes. Our team of safety specialists can partner with you to design, fabricate, and install a permanent rooftop horizontal lifeline system for flat and sloped roofs constructed from the entire range of commercially available materials including metal, rubber membrane, concrete, and built up roofs. Diversified Fall Protection engineers and installs roof horizontal lifelines that feature both rigid and minimally invasive tip over post technology. Making sense out of which options to choose can seem like a daunting task. This is why our engineering department performs an on-site visit for each project to ensure a fall protection solution that best suits your application.

By connecting a steel cable to two or more anchor points, maintenance personnel and contractors can safely access, inspect, and repair rooftop equipment while maintaining 100% tie-off at all times.  Although there are similarities between applications, each roof work environment poses specific fall protection challenges which are often best addressed with a custom-engineered solution. By partnering with a fall protection company familiar with the unique nature of rooftop fall hazards, cost effective solutions that ensure worker safety and OSHA compliance are achievable without compromising worker productivity.

Diversified Fall Protection  a complete turnkey provider of OSHA compliant horizontal lifeline systems.  Contact us for expert assistance with your fall arrest, fall restraint and fall protection requirements

Design Considerations

Despite the simplicity of their appearance, rooftop horizontal lifeline systems are incredibly complex fall protection systems and great care must be taken to ensure worker safety and OSHA compliance.  When partnering with a fall protection company to specify a rooftop horizontal lifeline, keep the following information top of mind: ANCHORAGE STRUCTURE TYPE AND STRENGTH​ The structure your system attaches to (I-beams and structural steel beneath the roof deck) roofing material (corrugated steel, standing seam metal, rubber membrane substrates, and concrete), and pitch dictate the type of anchor posts utilized for the application.  Tip-over posts require minimal rooftop penetrations during installation, but if the roofing material is a thinner gauge metal, or if the pitch is too steep, a rigid post system is required. It is vital to select a system that has been precision engineered and rigorously tested​ for the application and structure it will be attached to.​ Special care must be taken to account for the loads on various anchor points and deflection in the event of a fall, thus requiring certified and experienced engineering and installation capabilities.  Each anchor point must be secure enough to withstand the forces associated a fall and a thorough review of the work area is needed to ensure that a worker will not strike pipes, equipment, or other surfaces when falling.  Load and deflection rates are determined by a number of factors, including pre-tension of the cable, length of the area spanned by the horizontal lifeline, and the number of workers connected to the system. ANCHOR POINT LOCATION​ Your required access points, traffic patterns, and application dictate anchorage point locations for your horizontal lifeline system.  Whether the system is overhead, at your feet or somewhere in between, system components, design and structural strength must be considered when designing the system.​​ SYSTEM TYPE - STRAIGHT OR CURVED, AND LENGTH​ The length of system and whether it needs to be designed to protect a worker going around a corner or if its just a straight system will effect system design criteria, strength requirements and performance upgrades. Diversified Fall Protection can utilize specialized components to customize the rooftop lifeline to achieve straight line, L-shaped, and curved configurations to meet your specific access needs.
NUMBER OF USERS​ When developing a specification for a rooftop lifeline system, it is important to consider the number of users to ensure worker safety.   Diversified Fall Protection can develop a rooftop lifeline to support the safety requirements of one, two, and even up to six workers depending on your specific needs.

OSHA Regulations

  • The employer must ensure that each horizontal lifeline:
    • Is designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified person; and 1910.140(c)(11)(ii)
    • Is part of a complete personal fall arrest system that maintains a safety factor of at least two. 1910.140(c)(12)
      Anchorages used to attach to personal fall protection equipment must be independent of any anchorage used to suspend employees or platforms on which employees work. Anchorages used to attach to personal fall protection equipment on mobile work platforms on powered industrial trucks must be attached to an overhead member of the platform, at a point located above and near the center of the platform. 1910.140(c)(13)   Anchorages, except window cleaners' belt anchors covered by paragraph (e) of this section, must be:
    • Capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) for each employee attached; or 1910.140(c)(13)(ii)
    • Designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two. 1910.140(c)(14)
    • Travel restraint lines must be capable of sustaining a tensile load of at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN). 1910.140(c)(15)
    • Lifelines must not be made of natural fiber rope. Polypropylene rope must contain an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor. 1910.140(c)(16)
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems:  System performance criteria. In addition to the general requirements in paragraph (c) of this section, the employer must ensure that personal fall arrest systems: 1910.140(d)(1)(i)
    • Limit the maximum arresting force on the employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN); 1910.140(d)(1)(ii)
    • Bring the employee to a complete stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance the employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.1 m); 1910.140(d)(1)(iii)
    • Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of the employee free falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8 m), or the free fall distance permitted by the system; and... 1910.140(d)(1)(iv)
    • Sustain the employee within the system/strap configuration without making contact with the employee's neck and chin area. 1910.140(d)(1)(v)
    If the personal fall arrest system meets the criteria and protocols in appendix D of this subpart, and is being used by an employee having a combined body and tool weight of less than 310 pounds (140 kg), the system is considered to be in compliance with the provisions of paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. If the system is used by an employee having a combined body and tool weight of 310 pounds (140kg) or more and the employer has appropriately modified the criteria and protocols in appendix D, then the system will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (iii). 1910.140(d)(2)   The employer must ensure that:
    • On any horizontal lifeline that may become a vertical lifeline, the device used to connect to the horizontal lifeline is capable of locking in both directions on the lifeline. 1910.140(d)(2)(ii)
    • Personal fall arrest systems are rigged in such a manner that the employee cannot free fall more than 6 feet (1.8 m) or contact a lower level. A free fall may be more than 6 feet (1.8 m) provided the employer can demonstrate the manufacturer designed the system to allow a free fall of more than 6 feet and tested the system to ensure a maximum arresting force of 1,800 pounds (8 kN) is not exceeded. 1910.140(d)(3)
    • Body belts. Body belts are prohibited as part of a personal fall arrest system.



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