Page 15 - Metal Plus Interactive Catalog 2022
P. 15


      If we look at the “or” clause in the standard and        Any combined weight 310 lbs. or more would require
      apply the safety factor of two, it means that in this    a modification to the system to ensure it accommo-
      scenario our anchor point only has to support 1800       dated the extra weight.
      lbs. of force. That’s a huge difference from 5000 lbs.
                                                               Now, this doesn’t mean we can go tying-off to things
      In reality, there may be many fixtures in your work      all haphazardly. Whether reducing the capability re-
      area that don’t meet the 5000 lb. requirement but sat-   quirement of an anchor point for use with a fall arrest
      isfy the 1800 lb. requirement - a roof truss, for exam-  system or increasing it due to a heavy worker, it is
      ple. By eliminating all potential anchorage points that  vital that you don’t guess at capacities and imposed
      do not meet 5000 lbs., we may be making a difficult      forces.
      situation unnecessarily more difficult.                  Documentation is the key. Rather than make assump-
                                                               tions, check the manufacturer’s paperwork to see
      There is a flip-side, though. Consider the example:      what the numbers actually are. If that doesn’t give
      approximately 2500 lbs. of force is incurred when        you the answers you need, have a PE perform the
      a worker weighing 220 lbs. freefalls 6’. In this day     necessary calculations to determine if what you plan
      and age, many workers, with or without tools, weigh      on doing is sufficient.
      more than 220 lbs.
                                                               Keep in mind, you can always choose to keep it sim-
      What force does someone                                  ple and stick with the 5000 lb. requirement for your
      over 220 lbs exert on the                                personnel and subcontractors (though you would still
      system in a fall?                                        need to make adjustments for any combined weights
                                                               310 lbs. and above). You can also choose to go above

      Regardless of what it may be, we can assume it’s         and beyond what OSHA requires.
      MORE than 2500 lbs. Therefore, the 5000 lb. rule
      would seem NOT to support anybody over 220 lbs.          In this case, going above and beyond could reduce
                                                               the chance that something is done incorrectly. Fol-
      In a note under 1926.502(d)(16)(v), OSHA addresses       lowing the regulation as written, though potentially
      this and states that your system will be deemed to be    more complex, could open up new, perfectly safe
      in compliance if the worker’s combined tool and body     solutions that were never before an option.
      weight is less than 310 lbs.

          About the author

          Josh Borowiec is a Safety Professional with OSHA training
          and years of Fall Protection experience. He has a background
          in sales and consults on workplace hazards, performs risk

          assessments, and provides safe and compliant solutions
          specific to his customer needs. In his spare time, he writes
          for multiple blogs and loves taking photos.

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