Tech Talk Blog

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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Safety Netting Fall Protection Systems

If you spend time learning about our industry, you have probably read or heard about the ABC’s of fall restraint.  The ABC’s of fall restraint are simple and easy to remember:  anchor point, body harness, and a connecting device.  Fall protection systems based on the ABC’s are considered active restraint fall protection systems.

Active restraint fall protection is highly effective, but this methodology has limitations.  Active restraint fall protection systems require the worker to take specific steps to tie off and each component of the system, from the PPE to the anchor points, requires inspection, maintenance, and periodic recertification.  OSHA also requires that all workers are trained in the safe use of their fall protection equipment. Finally, there are some applications (e.g., construction applications) where active restraint fall protection is not a viable option.

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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?