Tech Talk Blog

Engineered Horizontal Lifeline vs. Temporary HLL

temporary hll

We live and work in an internet age where almost everything can be found online with the click of a mouse.  We can search the internet for answers to the most vexing problems, and more importantly, we can buy just about anything, including fall protection systems.  Although it may be tempting to buy a horizontal lifeline kit online, there are compelling reasons to think twice before placing a temporary HLL into your shopping cart.

At first glance, a temporary lifeline is a tempting offer.  It is aggressively priced and once ordered, the kit arrives at your facility in just a few days.  It is a DIY solution, meaning your maintenance staff can perform the installation, saving time and money. Where it is a cost-effective solution, is it the right solution for you and your company?

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Why A Horizontal Lifeline May Be The Wrong Solution

Let’s assume you’ve just witnessed an employee come dangerously close to falling from a flat-bed trailer in an area that lacks fall protection.  Most folks with a rudimentary understanding of our industry equate tie-off points with horizontal lifelines, so it makes sense that you might contact a fall protection company about an HLL system.  In this case, making the decision to speak with a fall protection expert would be the right call, but you’d be missing the mark by inquiring about a lifeline system for a trailer application. Here’s why…….

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Is Your Horizontal Lifeline Safe?

Does your horizontal lifeline need recertification?  Are you confused about the recertification process or wondering if a fall protection company can even recertify your HLL? Wondering if your lifeline system is safe?  Despite the simple appearance, lifelines are complex fall protection systems that need periodic inspection and annual recertification.   This post demystifies the recert process and offers answers to frequently asked Lifeline recertification questions.

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Roof Penetrations and Rigid Post Horizontal Lifelines

We’ve covered the advantages of tip over post technology in countless prior posts.  Assuming we aren’t dealing with a steep pitch application or thin gauge roofing material, a horizontal lifeline with tip over post technology will reduce shop fabrication and installation time, reducing costs.  More importantly, tip over post lifeline designs minimize roof penetrations which can cause leaks.  There are scenarios where an architect or engineer won’t deviate from a rigid post design—or instances where the pitch of the roof or gauge of the roof deck rules means a rigid post design is the only option.  That said, these installations require making large openings in the roof.  In case you are wondering just how large of an opening we are talking about, the pictures below tell the story.

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Horizontal Lifelines For Steep Pitch Applications

When most people hear the phrase “fall protection” their minds immediately gravitate toward construction, loading and unloading railcars and trucks, or inspecting and maintaining crane rails, industrial machinery, and rooftop HVAC equipment.  Each of these scenarios requires work at height, and as such, fall protection is needed.  That said, there are countless additional applications for fall protection systems, and our recent horizontal lifeline installation on the Oculus Transportation Hub in the World Trade Center District is a case in point. 

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Did You Know?

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide proper fall protection to all workers who are exposed to fall hazards?