Falls are a common cause of major injury or death in the construction industry. Workers must be protected anytime they are exposed to a fall six feet or greater. Fall protection can be accomplished by using guardrails, if the top rail is 42” – 45” high with a mid-rail approximately half way between the rail and the working platform. Workers not protected by other acceptable means, must utilize a personal fall arrest system. Such a system consists of a harness, an anchor and a lanyard which connects the harness to the anchor. The anchor point must be able to
support 5000 pounds. Snap hooks must be self –locking and may not be connected to each other. Only a lanyard designed for use in a personal fall arrest system may be used as a lanyard. If a worker has his/her own harness, it may be used if it is approved by a competent supervisor. Rock climbing equipment may not be used in an industrial setting. Any fall protection equipment must be appropriate for the specific work being performed. The lanyard must be attached to the D-ring located between the worker’s shoulder blades. In some cases a double lanyard is needed so workers can be connected to an anchor 100% of the time. Workers must inspect their equipment before each use, and if it is damaged taken out of service. Personal fall arrest systems shall be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor contact any lower level. Unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer, lanyards should not be “choked back” to themselves. Lifelines must be installed, and their use directed by a competent person. Self-retracting lanyards must be used according to the manufacturer’s specifications.