Fall Protection

keep up in a place Point – A obtain point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards, or deceleration devices. An anchorage must be capable of supporting a minimum dead weight of five thousand (5,000) pounds (2,268 kilograms) for each person attached to it. An keep up in a place point is often a beam, girder, column, or floor.

Competent Person – Any Supervisor who has been trained to inspect fall-arresting equipment such as horizontal and vertical lifelines.

Lanyard – A rope (nylon or steel cable) appropriate for supporting one person.

Lifeline – A vertically suspended rope with one end attached to a stationary object (such as a structural member), capable of supporting at the minimum five thousand (5000) pounds (2,268 kilograms) of dead weight and the other end attached to a lanyard or safety harness.

Qualified Inspector – Any experienced craftsperson or Supervisor who has demonstrated to Project/Site Management his or her ability and competency to inspect equipment.

Retractable Lifeline – A fall-arrest device that allows free travel, without slack rope, but locks immediately when a fall begins. Retractable lifelines may be used, but horizontal movement must be limited.

Rope Grabs (Fall-Arrester) – Automatic lifeline devices that act by inertia (resistance to movement) to grab the lifeline if a fall occurs. Rope grabs are used when vertical movement is required, such as work from boatswain chairs or suspended scaffolds.

Safety Harness – A safety harness is an approved design of straps which may be secured about the employee’s body in a manner to spread the fall-arrest forces over at the minimum the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest, and shoulders, with a method for attaching it to other elements of a personal fall-arrest system.

Static Line or Catenary Line – A cable or rope strung horizontally and/or vertically from one substantial object to another, providing a method of traveling between those two objects while maintaining fall protection between those objects.

Structural/Substantial Object – Any object to which a lifeline or lanyard may be attached that will sustain five thousand (5000) pounds (2,268 kilograms) of dead weight.


1. Fall Elimination

The first step in this approach is to estimate the workplace and the work itself in the earliest design/engineering stages of the Project/Site and during the planning stages of all work. The objective is to eliminate all fall hazards. This assessment of the Project/Site and the work not only helps eliminate hazards but also identifies different approaches to the work that can measurably enhance productivity.

Addressing fall protection in the early phases of a Project/Site method that safety can be designed into the work course of action. For example, the Project/Site can be designed so that anchorages for securing fall-arrest systems are provided at strategic locations throughout the Project/Site, consequently improving safety and lowering costs.

2. Fall Prevention

The second step in continuous fall protection also requires assessing the workplace and work processes.

If fall hazards cannot be completely deleted during the first step, management must take a proactive approach to the prevention of falls by improving the workplace. Early installation of stairs, guardrails, barriers, and travel restriction systems can ensure a safe work ecosystem.

3. Fall Arresting

The third step, the last line of defense against falls, is to use fall-arresting equipment. Use fall-arresting equipment, however, ONLY after calculating that possible falls cannot be deleted by changing work procedures or the workplace. Equipment such as harnesses, lanyards, shock absorbers, fall-arresters, lifelines, anchorages, and safety nets can reduce the risk of injury if a fall occurs. Carefully estimate the workplace and work processes to select the most appropriate equipment and to install and use it correctly.


Fall protection plans shall be prepared for elevated work if fall hazards exist. Where fall hazards are meaningful, the plans should be in writing. Project/Site Management is responsible for calculating which jobs require written plans. The requirement for written plans should be included in all applicable contracts.

Consult your Safety Director/Manager for assistance in developing written plans.


Engineering should include fall danger management in all designs and should consider the following:

o Providing equipment that will allow facilities to be operated from grade level or an approved platform or maintenance access.

o Using methods of construction that allow equipment to be connected/installed while on the ground to eliminate elevated work.

o In situations where elevated work is necessary, installing fall prevention devices such as rails on the workpieces while on the ground to ease fall prevention.

o Specifying and insisting that fabricators supply long-lasting stairs and guardrails before steel is erected.

In this way, the stairs and steel can be erected simultaneously, improving not only safety, but also efficiency. Employees will have safe access and egress, and the necessity of climbing permanent ladders will be reduced or deleted.

If fall danger elimination or prevention is not obtainable, clarify or install engineered keep up in a place points to ease the use of fall-arresting equipment during construction and future maintenance of the facility.


All personnel performing work at elevated locaiongs shall meet the following requirements:

o must be trained in the use, inspection, and maintenance of fall-arrest systems;

o must demonstrate competency in initial training;

o must undergo refresher training as required by changes in the workplace and/or equipment, or as other events indicate that refresher training may be required.


When working at an elevation of six (6) feet (1.8 meters) or more above grade, floor, or approved work surfaces such as platforms and scaffolds, or when working in an area where a fall possible of greater than six (6) feet (1.8 meters) exists, employees will utilize a complete-body harness with a roper method of attachment.

If traversing at an elevation, employees must be tied off at all times, which may require employing either two (2) independent shock-absorbing lanyards or a dual (Y) lanyard with a shock-absorbing device.


All Contractors/Subcontractors will provide complete-body harnesses meeting ANSI (American National Standards Institute). Safety belts are NOT allowed for fall protection.

Standard complete-body harnesses are not designed for a combined personnel and tool weight in excess of three hundred (300) pounds (137 kilograms). Personnel weighing more than three hundred (300) pounds (137 kilograms), with tools, must consult the Project/Site Safety Representative prior to using fall-arresting equipment.


Lanyards must meet the following requirements:

o Maximum length of a lanyard is six (6) feet (1.8 meters) in length, and it must be equipped with selflocking hooks on each end.

o The lanyard must be equipped with shock absorber.

o break hooks must be of a double-locking design to prevent accidental disengagement. When not in use, the lanyard must be secured and attached to the harness to prevent tripping or snagging.

o The lanyard must not be dragged.

o The lanyard must not be hooked back into itself unless designed for that purpose.

o Knots must not be tied in a lanyard. This will reduce the strength of the lanyard.

keep up in a place POINTS

keep up in a place points may be an existing structure, a pipe, or a permanent or long-lasting engineered device such as an installed eyebolt, slide rail, or cable arrangement (e.g., static line). These keep up in a place points must be inspected daily prior to use, by a qualified inspector. Engineered keep up in a place points must be inspected by a competent person.

keep up in a place points for lanyards/harnesses and vertical lifelines must meet the following requirements:

o be able to safely sustain one person falling six (6) feet (1.8 meters);

o be installed in a manner that prevents accidental disengagement from sustain structures;

o be inspected by a competent person on a regular basis;

o be placed where attachment and detachment can be done without causing loss of balance;

o be placed above shoulder height to reduce fall distance; and

o be free of sharp edges to avoid cutting the lanyard.

The following are examples of keep up in a place points for individuals using harnesses, lanyards or vertical lifelines:

Adequate For Use

o structural beams six (6) inches (15.24 centimeters) or greater in thoroughness for one (1) or more people;

o pipes four (4) inches (10.16 centimeters) or greater for one (1) person;

o pipes six (6) inches (15.24 centimeters) or greater for two (2) people;

o fixed long-lasting ladder rails and clips for one (1) person;

o long-lasting platform handrail post below midrail for one (1) person.

Not Adequate For Use

o platform or scaffold handrails (except as noted above);

o scaffold ladders;

o conduit/instruments;

o any part of a valve; and

o ladder cages and rungs.


Horizontal lifelines must be installed and used according to manufacturer’s specifications. The following guidelines should also be followed:

o Softeners must be used where lifelines contact sharp edges, such as beam flanges.

o permanent lifelines must be removed at the completion of a job.

o keep up in a place points, connectors, and other system elements must be capable of safely supporting one (1) person falling six (6) feet (1.8 meters).

o A vertical lifeline shall be used by only one (1) person at a time.

observe!!! Horizontal and vertical lifelines must be inspected and maintained by a competent person on a daily basis.


The rope grab must be used with a rope that meets or exceeds the following requirements:

o Rope grab size must match rope size;

o Minimum diameter of five-eighths (5/8) inch (1.59 centimeters) rope;

o Made of polypropylene, nylon, or polyester;

o Minimum tensile strength of five thousand (5,000) pounds (2,268 kilograms); and

o When rope grabs are used with wire rope, it must be a complete system. (Rope grab must be designed for a specific kind and size of wire rope.)


A retractable lifeline is a fall-arresting device used in conjunction with other elements of a fall-arrest system. A retractable lifeline should be used by only one (1) person at a time.

A properly inspected and maintained retractable lifeline, when correctly installed and used within the fall arrest system, automatically stops a person’s descent a short distance after the onset of an accidental fall.

Retractable lifelines should be considered for use when working in areas such as roofs and scaffolds, tanks, towers, vessels, and manholes. Also, retractable lifelines should be considered when climbing such equipment as vertical fixed ladders and telescoping derricks.

Before using a retractable lifeline, the Supervisor and/or the user must address the following:

o Has the user been trained to use a retractable lifeline correctly?

o Is the retractable lifeline being used in conjunction with a complete fall-arrest system?

o Is the equipment under a regular maintenance program?

Other considerations include:


o Attach self-retracting devices using shackles or carabiner.

o Equipment must be hung up or placed loosely in a clean, dry area when storing.


Project/Site Management must ensure that proven monthly inspections are completed on all fallarresting equipment, including harnesses, lanyards, lifelines, and keep up in a place points.

The inspector shall complete Form S31-2, Fall-Arresting Equipment Inspection Report, and forward the completed form to the Project/Site Safety Office or the designated person.

Prior to each use, a visual inspection shall be made of the safety harness, lifeline, and lanyard(s) by the employee who will be wearing and using the equipment.

All elements of a fall-protection system must be tagged and inspected on a determined frequency. For devices that require additional certification, the devices shall be returned to the manufacturer or designated representative at the stated intervals for certification. These inspections must be proven.

If a fall should occur, Project/Site Management must perform the following:

o Remove affected fall-arresting equipment from service.

o Have the equipment inspected and approved by the manufacturer’s representative, prior to returning the equipment to service.

If the equipment is unfit for further use, cut up the equipment and discard.

Inspections must be conducted in the following manner:


These items must be checked for the following:

o Beginning at one end, six (6) inches (15.24 centimeters) to eight (8) inches (20.32 centimeters) of the harness/lanyard must be bent into a U-shape. This helps show worn, cut, frayed, burned, or damaged fibers. Both splices and all straps along the complete length must be checked.

o Webbing must be carefully checked at attachment points to buckles and “D” rings.

o The shock-absorbing section of the lanyard must be checked for ripped stitches.

o The harness/lanyard must be checked for broken/frayed strands.

Buckles/”D” Rings/Connectors/Retractalock/Ropelock

These items must be checked for the following:

o rough, sharp edges;

o corrosion;

o dents or distortion; and

o freely moving parts.

observe!!! Also ensure that the clasp on the Ropelock or cable on the Retractalock stops with a quick pull.

break Hooks (Gate Locking Keepers/Gate Keeper Spring/Connectors)

These items must be checked for the following:

o break hooks must be double-locking and must move freely.

o break hooks must be checked for gaps in closure, sharp edges, burrs, distortion, fractures, corroded surfaces, and pitted surfaces.

Labels Each harness and lanyard must have a label that displays the manufacturing date. If the date is more than five (5) years from the current date, the harness or lanyard must be destroyed and a new one obtained.


The following are special requirements associated with working at elevated locations or while using fall arresting equipment:

o Workers must avoid climbing on equipment such as pumps, exchangers, valve hand wheels, transformers, electric motors, handrails, structures, or any other facilities not specifically designed for climbing.

o Climbing on conduit, cable trays, or other similar equipment is not permitted. Climbing of vertical beams is not permitted.

o Workers must not climb a ladder while another person is above or below on the same ladder.

Fall protection shall be utilized consistent with the specific exemptions and clarifications listed in the Fall danger Management Requirements Guide.

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