Fall Protection Program Considerations - Trench Safety

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Fall Protection Program Considerations - Trench Safety

Miller/Troll Training ToolBoxDesigned for safety professionals (designated a CompetentPerson) responsible for fall prevention and protection training,the new Miller/Troll Training ToolBox includes all the necessarymaterials to conduct an informative and educational fallprevention andprotection program.• Comprehensiveinstructor materials• PowerPoint presentationon CD-Rom• Participant’straining manuals• Course certificates• Fall prevention andprotection guidelines video• Posters• Safety awards• Complete with acarrying case“Gravity Kills...Defy It” VideoThis 20-minute comprehensive fall prevention and protectionguidelines video is an excellent training tool for safetyprofessionals. The video includes:• In-depth review of fallarrest systems• Dynamic drop tests todemonstrate fall forces• Easy-to-calculate fallclearance data• Overview of personalfall arrest system products7

THE ABC’S OF A PERSONALFALL ARREST SYSTEMThree key components of the Personal Fall Arrest System(PFAS) must be in place and properly used to providemaximum worker protection.Anchorage/Anchorage ConnectorAnchorage: Commonly referred to as a tie-off point (Ex: I-beam,rebar, scaffolding, lifeline, etc.)Anchorage Connector: Used to join the connecting device tothe anchorage (Ex: cross-arm strap, beam anchor, D-bolt, hookanchor, etc.)• Anchorages must be capable of supporting 5,000 pounds(22kN) of force per worker.• Must be high enough for a worker to avoid contact with alower level should a fall occur.Body WearBody Wear: The personal protective equipment worn by theworker (Ex: full-body harness)• Only form of body wear acceptable for fall arrest is thefull-body harness.• Should be selected based on work to be performed andthe work environment.• Ask for a Miller Harness Selection Guide from yournearest Miller distributor.Connecting DeviceConnecting Device: The critical link which joins the body wearto the anchorage/anchorage connector (Ex: shock-absorbinglanyard, fall limiter, self-retracting lifeline, rope grab, etc.)• Potential fall distance must be calculated to determine typeof connecting device to be used.• Should also be selected based on work to be performedand the work environment.8

Individually, these components will not provide protectionfrom a fall. Used properly in conjunction with each other,however, they form a Personal Fall Arrest System that becomesvitally important to safety on the jobsite and the overall fallprotection program.AAnchorage/AnchorageConnectorBBodyWearConnectingDevice9

FOUR FUNCTIONALEQUIPMENT CATEGORIESFall ArrestAs a general rule, it isrecommended that a fallarrest system be used atworking heights of four feetor more. This systemconsists of:• anchorage/anchorage connector• body wear(full-body harness)• connecting device*The positioning and suspensionsystems are not designed for fallarrest, and therefore a back-up fallarrest system should be used.Positioning/Restraint*A positioning/restraint systemis used to hold a worker inplace while allowing ahands-free work environmentat elevated heights and/orrestrict the worker’s movementto prevent reaching a locationwhere a fall hazard exists. Atypical positioning/restraintsystem consists of:• anchorage/anchorage connector• body wear (full-body harnessor body belt)• connecting device(positioning lanyard)10

Suspension*Suspension systems areused widely in the windowwashing and paintingindustries and are designedto lower and support a workerwhile allowing a hands-freework environment. Atypical suspension systemwould include:• anchorage/anchorageconnector (anchor bolt,trolley, carabiner, etc.)• body wear (full-bodyharness)• connecting device(workline)• suspension device(bos’n chair)RetrievalThe retrieval system isprimarily used in confinedspace applications whereworkers must enter tanks,manholes, etc. and mayrequire retrieval from aboveshould an emergency occur.A retrieval system typicallyconsists of:• anchorage/anchorageconnector (tripod, davit)• body wear(full-body harness)• connecting device(retractable lifeline/retrieval unit)11

GENERAL FALL PROTECTIONCONSIDERATIONSThe following factors are key considerations to providemaximum fall protection safety and to ensure compliancewith regulations and standards.1) Warnings – Always read all instructions and warningscontained on the product and packaging before using anyfall protection equipment.2) Inspection – All fall protection equipment should beinspected prior to each use.3) Training – All workers should be trained by a CompetentPerson in the proper use of fall protection products.4) Regulations – Understand all Federal, State, Local andProvincial regulations pertaining to fall protection beforeselecting and using the equipment.5) Rescue Planning – Minimizing the time between afall occurrence and medical attention of the worker isvitally important. A thorough rescue program should beestablished prior to using fall protection equipment.6) Product/System Preferences – If there are anydoubts about which fall protection products to use,contact your Miller Distributor or call Miller CustomerService. For guidelines on selecting a basic personalfall arrest system, refer to The ABC’s of a Personal FallArrest System on page 8 of this guide.7) System Components –Only components that are fullycompatible with one anothershould be used. Fall arrest systemsare designed and tested as completesystems and should be used in this way.8) What to Do After a Fall –After a fall occurs, all componentsof the fall arrest system should12be removed from service.9) Call for Information –If there are any questions orconcerns about your fallprotection program orsystem, contact Miller/TrollTraining at 1-800-873-5242.Full-BodyHarnessPersonal FallArrest SystemAnchorageConnectorShock-AbsorbingLanyard

INSPECTION & MAINTENANCEOF A PERSONAL FALLARREST SYSTEMTo maintain proper service life and high performance, fallprotection products should be inspected regularly!Harness (and Body Belt) InspectionTo inspect your harness or body belt, perform thefollowing procedures.12341) Webbing – Grasp the webbing withyour hands 6 inches (152mm) to 8 inches(203mm) apart. Bend the webbing in aninverted “U” as shown. The surface tensionresulting makes damaged fibers or cutseasier to detect. Follow this procedure theentire length of the webbing, inspectingboth sides of each strap. Look for frayededges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts,burns, and chemical damage.2) D-Rings/Back Pads – CheckD-rings for distortion, cracks, breaks, andrough or sharp edges. The D-ring shouldpivot freely. D-ring back pads should alsobe inspected for damage.3) Attachment of Buckles – Inspectfor any unusual wear, frayed or cut fibers,or broken stitching of the buckle orD-ring attachments.4) Tongue/Grommets – The tonguereceives heavy wear from repeated bucklingand unbuckling. Inspect for loose, distortedor broken grommets. Webbing should nothave additional punched holes.(Continued on page 14)13

2345 & 6Lanyard Inspection (Continued)2) Wire Rope Lanyard – Whilerotating the wire rope lanyard, watch forcuts, frayed areas, or unusual wearingpatterns on the wire. Broken strands willseparate from the body of the lanyard.3) Web Lanyard – While bendingwebbing over a pipe or mandrel, observeeach side of the webbed lanyard. Thiswill reveal any cuts or breaks. Swelling,discoloration, cracks, and charring areobvious signs of chemical or heat damage.Observe closely for any breaks in stitching.4) Rope Lanyard – Rotate the ropelanyard while inspecting from end-to-endfor any fuzzy, worn, broken or cut fibers.Weakened areas from extreme loads willappear as a noticeable change in originaldiameter. The rope diameter should beuniform throughout, following a shortbreak-in period.5) Shock Absorber Pack – The outerportion of the pack should be examinedfor burn holes and tears. Stitching on areaswhere the pack is sewn to D-rings, belts, orlanyards should be examined for loosestrands, rips, and deterioration.6) Shock-Absorbing Lanyard –Shock-absorbing lanyards should beexamined as a web lanyard (described initem 3 above). However, also look for thewarning flag or signs of deployment. Ifthe flag has been activated, remove thisshock-absorbing lanyard from service.(Continued on page 16)15

CALCULATING TOTAL FALLCLEARANCE DISTANCEShock-absorbing lanyards extend deceleration distanceduring a fall, significantly reducing fall arrest forces by 65to 80 percent below the threshold of injury. This ensuresgreater safety on the jobsite. However, when using ashock-absorbing lanyard, it is important to understand howto calculate potential fall distance to avoid contact with alower level.CalculatingYour PotentialFall Distance1. When using a 6 ft. (1.8m) shock-absorbing lanyard and afull-body harness, first add the length of the shock-absorbinglanyard [6 ft. (1.8m)] to the maximum elongation of theshock absorber during deceleration [3-1/2 ft. (1.1m)] to theaverage height of a worker [6 ft. (1.8m)].2. Then, add a safety factor of 3 ft. (1m) to allow for thepossibility of an improperly fit harness, a taller than averageworker and/or a miscalculation of distance.3. The total, 18-1/2 ft. (5.6m), is the suggested safe fallclearance distance, the height at which you must attach to ananchorage to minimize the risk of contact with a lower level.Miller ® Splat IndicatorFor a quick and easy alternative to calculatingyour fall distance, use the Miller Splat Indicator.• Similar to a plumb bob, simply attach thedevice to an anchorage or to the lanyard atthe anchoring snap hook and lower theweight using the attached string.• If the weight strikes a lower level, then a higher anchoragemust be selected.• If a higher anchorage is not accessible, a shorter lanyard or afall limiter should be used.17

6 EASY STEPS THAT COULDSAVE YOUR LIFE:How To Put On A Harness1 Hold harness by backD-ring. Shake harness toallow all straps to fallin place.2 If chest, leg and/or waiststraps are buckled, release strapsand unbuckle at this time.3 Slip straps overshoulders so D-ring islocated in middle of backbetween shoulder blades.4 Pull leg strap between legsand connect to opposite end.Repeat with second leg strap.If belted harness, connect waiststrap after leg straps.5 Connect chest strapand position in midchestarea. Tighten to keepshoulder straps taut.186 After all straps have beenbuckled, tighten all buckles sothat harness fits snug butallows full range of movement.Pass excess strap throughloop keepers.

GLOSSARY OF TERMSAnchorage – a secure point of attachment for lifelines,lanyards or deceleration devices.Anchorage Connector – used to join the connecting device(lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device) to the anchorage.Arresting Force – the force transmitted to the body whena fall is arrested. Also known as Fall Arrest Force.Body Belt – a strap with means both for securing about thewaist and for attaching to a lanyard, lifeline or decelerationdevice. Used for positioning and/or restraint. Also known as aSafety Belt.Body Harness – a design of straps which is secured abouta person in a manner to distribute fall arresting forces over atleast the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders, withprovisions for attaching it to other components of a personalfall arrest system. Also known as a Full-Body Harness.Body Wear – the personal protective equipment worn by aworker, such as a body belt or body harness.Buckle – an integral connector used to attach straps orwebbing segments together or to themselves.Friction Buckle – an integral connector whereby thewebbing passes over the knurled bar and back downbetween the knurled bar and frame to adjust and tightenwebbing straps.Mating Buckle – an integral connector whereby a center baris pushed through a square link. Webbing is then tightenedfor proper fit. Also known as a Quick-Connect Buckle.Tongue Buckle – an integral connector similar to a standardbelt buckle whereby a webbing strap is inserted through thebuckle placing the buckle tongue through the appropriategrommet hole. Also known as a Grommet Buckle.Competent Person – one who is capable of identifyingexisting and predictable hazards in the surroundings or workingconditions which are hazardous, or dangerous to employees,and who has the authority to take prompt corrective measuresto eliminate them.(Continued on page 20)19

GLOSSARY OF TERMS (Continued)Connecting Device – the critical link which joins thebody wear to the anchorage/anchorage connector, such asshock-absorbing lanyard, fall limiter, self-retracting lifeline, orrope grab.Connector – a mechanism or device used to join togethercomponents of a personal fall arrest system or parts of acomponent within the system. See also Hardware.D-Ring – an integral component or provision commonlyfound on body wear and some anchorage connectors whichallows for attaching a connecting device (lanyard, lifeline, ordeceleration device).Deceleration Device – any mechanism which serves todissipate energy during a fall arrest, limiting the forces imposedon a person.Deceleration Distance – the additional vertical distancea falling person travels, excluding lifeline elongation and freefall distance, before stopping, from the point at which thedeceleration device begins to operate. It is measured as thedistance between the location of a person’s body harnessattachment point at the moment of activation (onset of fallarrest forces) of the deceleration device during a fall, and thelocation of that attachment point after the person comes to afull stop.Fall Indicator – a safety device or warning flag which servesto let an employee know that a fall arrest system componenthas been involved in a fall and should be removed from service.Fall Limiter – a self-retracting lifeline/lanyard with aquick-activating braking system that limits a free fall to inches.See also Self-Retracting Lifeline/Lanyard.Free Fall – the act of falling before the personal fall arrestsystem begins to arrest the fall.Free Fall Distance – the vertical distance a person fallsbefore the fall arrest system begins to arrest the fall.Full-Body Harness – See Body Harness.Hardware – buckles, D-rings, snap hooks and associatedconnectors which are used to attach components of a personalfall arrest system or parts of a component within the system.20

Lanyard – a flexible line of rope, wire rope/cable, orwebbing which generally has a connector at each end forsecuring a body belt or body harness to a lifeline, decelerationdevice or anchorage.Lanyard Ring – a component of a body harness that allowsthe user to attach a lanyard when not in use so that it is nothanging freely.Lifeline – a line provided for direct or indirect attachmentto a body belt, body harness, lanyard, or deceleration device.Such lifelines may be horizontal or vertical in application.Lower Level – an area or surface to which an employeecan fall.Maximum Arrest Force – the peak force on the bodyduring arrest of a fall by the fall arrest system. Also known as PeakFall Arrest Force.Personal Fall Arrest System – an arrangement ofcomponents that together will arrest a person in a fall froma working level. It typically consists of an anchorage,connecting device and body harness, and may include alanyard, deceleration device, lifeline or a combination of these.Retractable Lifeline – See Self-Retracting Lifeline/Lanyard.Rollout – a process by which a snap hook, carabiner or similardevice unintentionally disengages from another component towhich it is attached.Rope Grab – a deceleration device which travels on a lifelineand automatically engages the lifeline and locks to arrest a fall.Trailing Rope Grab – a rope grab which moves freely upand down the lifeline with hands-free operation.Self-Retracting Lifeline/Lanyard – a decelerationdevice containing a drum-wound line which can be slowlyextracted from or retracted onto the drum under slight tensionduring normal worker movement, and which, after onset of afall, automatically locks the drum and arrests the fall. See alsoFall Limiter.(Continued on page 22)21

GLOSSARY OF TERMS (Continued)Shock Absorber – a component of a personal fall arrestsystem which allows dissipation of energy by extendingdeceleration distance reducing fall arrest forces.Shock-Absorbing Lanyard – specially designedlanyard that elongates during a fall to significantly reduce fallarresting forces.Snap Hook – a connector with a hook-shaped member,keeper, latch or other similar arrangement which may beopened to receive an object and, when released, automaticallycloses to retain the object.Locking Snap Hook – a snap hook that includes a lockingmechanism which will keep the hook closed and locked untilmanually unlocked and opened.Strap – a length of webbing.Stretchable Harness – a full-body harness that is morecomfortable to wear because the webbing is a blend ofnylon, polyester, and a specially formulated elastomer thatstretches. Includes provisions for attaching a lanyard, lifelineor deceleration device.Sub-Pelvic Strap – a full-body harness strap, which passesunder the buttocks without passing through the crotch, that isdesigned to transmit forces applied during fall arrest or post-fallsuspension to the sub-pelvic part of the body.Tie-Back Lanyard – a flexible line of heavy-duty,abrasion-resistant webbing designed to be used as theconnecting device and anchorage connector with a speciallyengineeredsnap hook able to withstand 5,000 lbs.Total Fall Clearance Distance – the maximum verticaldistance that a worker could potentially fall and still avoidcontact with a lower level.Total Fall Distance – the maximum vertical distancebetween the full-body harness attachment point and thelowest extremity of the body before and after the fall is arrestedincluding lanyard extension and/or deceleration distance.22

THE TOTAL SOLUTIONIN FALL PROTECTIONA complete selection of superior quality,innovative fall protection products andconfined space equipment designed toenhance safety and productivity onthe jobsite.Custom-designed fall arrest systems includingpermanent vertical and horizontal lifelines,ladder climbing systems, and associatedanchoring structures.Customized fall prevention and protectiontraining programs tailored to your needs, aswell as prescheduled courses offered in majorcities throughout North America.Where to Turn for AdviceWhether you are just starting a fall protection programor have questions about the system you now have inplace, we welcome the opportunity to serve you, call usat 1-800-873-5242.23

Call for the Miller ®distributor nearest you.Contact your Miller ® Distributor:Toll Free800/873-5242LMG/0102/20M/BPwww.bacou-dalloz.com

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