Evaluating the OSHA Fall Protection Requirements for Ladders
Understanding OSHA fall protection requirements for ladders and other areas of the job site is a crucial part of the operations for many industries. Fall protection is particularly important for businesses whose employees are often working in potentially dangerous situations from heights. Following OSHA fall protection protocols will help keep your employees safe and your business operating efficiently. Altogether, OSHA fall protection requirements can feel overwhelming. However, when broken down, they become easier to understand and put in place.
OSHA Fall Protection Requirements for Ladders
What is a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS)
Personal fall arrest systems, or PFAS, are used to prevent a fall from taking place. Additionally, they are used to prevent a worker using the PFAS from hitting another object or lower surface if they do fall. The components that make up a personal fall arresting system include a body harness, lanyard, lifeline, connector, and an anchorage point capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds.
Requirements of Personal Fall Arrest Systems
In most cases, per OSHA fall protection requirements, personal fall arrest systems must be rigged in such a manner that the employee cannot free fall more than 6 feet or contact a lower level. Full-body harnesses must be used with PFAS as they distribute the impact more evenly than unpermitted waist belts. Outdated waist belts can dangerously compress internal organs when arresting a fall, inflicting damage despite stopping the fall.
While not required, it is strongly encouraged to utilize a lanyard with built-in deceleration capability such as a bungee/shock absorber. Shock absorbers have the ability to reduce the load of the fall-arrest by as much as 50%. This is important because falls must limit fall-arresting force to 1,800 lbs on the worker using the full-body harness. Make sure that the maximum deceleration distance is limited to 3½ feet, at most. The lanyard component can be attached to a trailing wire rope grab as well to mitigate even small fall arrests.
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Design Components is an established and trusted provider of equipment that meets and exceeds OSHA’s fall protection requirements. Providing all employees with safe hardware that meets OSHA’s requirements will also prevent the business from having to risk major liabilities and hefty fines. Design Components provides industry-leading, effective OSHA-compliant products at a price fit for many budgets.