Oregon OSHA Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

March 20, 2013

In this issue:

 

Fall protection – is that roof-top anchor safe?

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A personal fall-arrest system is only as safe as its anchor point. But it's not uncommon to see lifelines and lanyards attached to "secure-looking" rooftop fixtures for convenience. These anchors can fail because they aren't designed to support loads imposed on them during a fall.

If workers use personal fall-arrest or restraint systems, they need secure anchorages for their lifelines or lanyards. Anchorages for personal fall-arrest systems must be able to support at least 5,000 pounds per attached worker or be designed by a qualified person and have a safety factor of at least two — twice the impact force of a worker free-falling six feet.

Anchorages for personal fall-restraint systems must be able to support at least 3,000 pounds per attached worker or be designed by a qualified person and have a safety factor of at least two — twice the peak anticipated dynamic load.

If you don't know how much weight an anchorage will support, have a qualified person check it before you trust your life to it.

fall-arrest anchors fall-arrest anchor

Anchorages for personal fall-arrest systems must be able to support at least 5,000 pounds per attached worker or be designed by a qualified person and have a safety factor of at least two. This plastic roof vent, while convenient, is not likely to support the force of a worker free-falling six feet. Also, the tie-off method is not safe. Never tie a lifeline directly to an anchor point. Use an appropriate connector – one that support at least 5,000 pounds.

Photo credit: Steve Barrett, Oregon OSHA.

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But remember: the information in this newsletter is intended to highlight safe work practices, but it does not replace Oregon OSHA workplace safety and health rules.

For information about Oregon OSHA services and answers to technical questions, call (503) 378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, (800) 922-2689.