Personal Fall Arrest & Safety Procedures

At Olsen Chain & Cable, we’re committed to helping people safely and successfully do their jobs. From the lifting equipment needed to effectively maneuver heavy materials to the safety equipment that protects people in the process, our equipment and our expertise work hand-in-hand on behalf of our customers and partners. 

When it comes to Fall Protection for your business or jobsite, it’s important to know not only the equipment that's right for you, but also the right procedures and systems to have in place to support that equipment.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems from Olsen Chain & Cable

A personal fall arrest system is a system used to safely stop (arrest) a worker who is falling from a working level. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, and a body harness. It also may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these. 

When employers choose to use a personal fall arrest system as a means of worker fall protection, they must: 

    • Limit the maximum arresting force on a worker to 1,800 pounds when used with a body harness. 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(16)(ii). 
    • Be rigged so that a worker can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor contact any lower level. 29 CFR 926.502(d)(16)(iii). 
    • Bring a worker to a complete stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance a worker travels to 3.5 feet. 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(16)(iv). 
    • Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of a worker free falling a distance of 6 feet or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less. 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(16)(v). Page 20 of 60 
    • Be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage, and other deterioration. Defective components must be removed from service. 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(21).

Rescue Plans and Equipment 

Did you know that every job site, workplace, and shop is required to have a “Rescue Plan” documented if they use a harness in any capacity. The plan must be aware enough to consider worst-case-scenarios (such as, a person hanging via their harness is unconscious and must be safely brought to the ground) and be much more comprehensive than something as simple as “Call 911.”

According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z359, rescue should be completed within six minutes of a fall arrest. 

    • Workers cannot stay suspended for long and are at risk of reduced blood flow, oxygen deprivation, brain damage, cardiac arrest and death. 
    • All workers using fall arrest systems must be monitored and promptly rescued in the event of a fall. In addition to rescue equipment available onsite, use of self-rescue devices are recommended. 
    • Fall arrest rescue equipment that need to be available onsite when fall arrest equipment are used include ladders, rescue poles and ropes, a rescue wench, a crane, an aerial lift, scaffolding, and an adequate lifting or lowering device.

Safety rarely comes down to isolated moments and off-the-cuff decisions. Instead, safety is about a company’s and crew’s regular routines and documented systems. It’s all-too-common for fatigue to set in for crew members and foremen when it comes to safety procedures. Fleeting dismissals of equipment inspections lead to critical oversights. Rushed schedules and a failure to prioritize proper harnessing are the difference between life and death.

It's because of this that safety is a day-by-day and moment-by-moment decision on your job site. While the processes and protocols enacted can feel cumbersome or disruptive to timelines and schedules, the risks to your people, your operation, and your company are far too significant to disregard. 

And that's why Olsen Chain & Cable is here. For help building out your job site or company's Rescue Plan or for the right equipment, inspection services, or training, contact the Olsen Chain & Cable City Desk. We're committed to keeping you working and to keeping you strong. 

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