Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Essential Fall Protection Equiptment for the Construction Industrty

Those that own a construction business or are heavily involved in the management of construction sites know that there’s a never-ending list of responsibilities. Maintaining efficiency of the project while ensuring profitability are important, however there’s nothing more important that protecting your workers from dangerous and potentially lethal falls.

It may shock you to know that an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs alone, according to data from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced new fall protection requirements for Residential Construction.

Here what you need to know about essential fall protection equipment for the construction industry.

ABCD’s of Fall Protection Safety
When it comes to fall protection safety, you need to provide your employees with the resources and knowledge they need to protect themselves from deadly falls. When your construction workers are at risk of falling, make sure they understand that ABCD’s of fall protection.

As the secure point of attachment for a fall arrest system, the anchorage point secures the worker to a firm base. All anchorage points must support adequate loads, and require different regulations depending upon the type of active personal fall protection system your worker is using:

  • A personal fall arrest system must have an anchorage point that supports at least 5,000 lbs.
  • A personal fall restraint system must have an anchorage point that supports four times the intended load.
  • A positioning device must have an anchorage point that supports two times the intended load or 3,000 lbs., whichever is greater.

As you can see, the type of anchorage point regulations you need to follow are dependent upon the job being done, the structure being worked on, and they type of industry you’re serving. The anchorage structure to which the connector is attached must be capable of supporting a load of 5,000 pounds per person or shall be designed, installed and used as part of a complete system that maintains a safety factor of at least two, under the supervision of a qualified person.

Body Support
Full-body fall protection harnesses provide the needed body support via straps that fasten around the worker, while distributing fall arrest forces over the chest, shoulders, upper thighs and groin. A full-body harness is the easiest way to feel protected when working at heights, supplying a connecting point between the worker and the structure’s anchorage point.

It’s important to provide complete protection to your construction workers. According to OSHA, “There is a growing body of evidence which points to hazards related to the use of body supports other than an appropriate fully body harness. Studies performed in Europe and by the U.S. Air Force indicate high risks associated with the body belt in both fall arrest and suspension modes. Further, the possibility of falling out of a body belt and chest-waist harness is significant and has appeared in accident reports.”

An adequate full-body harness should be comfortable enough for the worker to wear all day, providing adjustable, form fitting straps. These days, many harnesses come with ergonomical options, more padding and lighter materials, all provided to keep the worker more comfortable for longer hours, increasing productivity when working in dangerous situations. Find a harness that isn’t confusing to get on and off, or to adjust. This only decreases safety and productivity.

Connectors are what links the worker’s harness to the anchorage point. Whether it’s a shock-absorbing lanyard, an adjustable positioning lanyard, or a self-retracting lifeline, the connector will help keep your worker from hitting the ground. When used in conjunction to a fall restraint system, the connector must be short enough so that the user doesn’t reach a fall hazard.

Self-retracting lifelines give your construction workers ample space within the work area, utilizing extendable and retractable mechanisms to let the user move freely. If the worker falls, the lifeline will stop the fall by sensing the sudden acceleration.

A shock-absorbing lanyard, on the other hand, is designed to take the strain out of a fall. Offering a flexible line, a connector at either end is used to connect the anchorage to the body support of a harness. The lanyard is connected via the back of a D-ring in between the workers shoulder blades and anchored to a structure that is above the worker to minimize fall distance.

The descent/rescue equipment is an essential part of fall protection for the construction industry. Should an accident happen, descent devices are utilized to rescue a fallen worker. Choosing the best descent and rescue equipment, whether it’s a winch, tripod, ladder, net, or davit arms, will depend on your construction site and the type of job being done.

Remember, the anchorage, body support and connectors aren’t the only elements of an all-encompassing fall protection system. Should the worst happen and a worker falls, you need to have a backup plan in place. This is where a comprehensive rescue system will come in use. As an owner or manager of a construction site, it’s your duty to supply all workers with the best fall protection equipment available to ensure safety throughout the project.

While it may seem expensive to invest in fall protection equipment, it will be detrimental to your project and possibly company should an accident happen and you’re not following OSHA’s regulations. The fallout from injuries or deaths sustained in falls cost construction companies millions of dollars annually in the form of lost work, increased insurance claims and messy liability troubles. Knowing the ABCD’s of fall protection and investing in the best equipment, while educating workers on proper protocol and response plans will save both money and lives.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rescue Devices & Kits for Suspended Workers

As 2014 comes to end, most of us should know their ABC's of fall protection.  Anchors, Body Harnesses, & Connectors, but what about the D?  D is for Descent/Rescue & has become a top issue for not only OSHA & ANSI, but for construction workers and their employers.  With many job sites always having A, B, & C taken care of, when a fall occurs & the worker's fall has been arrested, yet still suspended or dangling from his lanyard.  The first issue to be concerned about is where all his blood will be flowing while suspended & we need to make sure this is handled to allow time for the worker to be rescued.  We carry suspension trauma straps that are easily attached to your harness to place the legs in the proper position & some of the newer higher end harness like the Exofit Nex already have them built into the harness.

gotcha rescue kit
Many manufactures have various forms of rescue devices for assisted rescue, self rescue, & descent systems.  You need to determine which type is best for your job application.  Is the work environment safe for the worker to be lowered to the ground or will the worker have to be retrieved back up higher to a safe working platform or roof.  Sometimes workers don't have coworkers around them, so one would need to have self rescue or escape device, which is usually a descent rescue.  There will be instances where a worker is unconscious, you need to account for this & be ready for an assisted rescue.  We carry rescue kits all configured with the components you need complete in a bag & ready to be in place, ready to use on your job.  There are self retracting lifelines that have a rescue mode on them as well, these are widely used in the oil industry.

Always make sure you have a rescue plan before you start your job.  Don't forget the D in your ABC's & the R is silent, but with out it your fall protection system is not complete.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Standing Seam Roof Anchors for Fall Protection

Standing seam roof panels are becoming more popular every year, with there appeal to the consumer for aesthetic purposes and security of a metal building.  In the early years of standing seam metal buildings it was impossible to figure out a way to tie off safely in order to protect workers from a fall.  Since then fall protection manufacturers have developed different styles of roof anchors to make life easier on hard working builders.  Guardian came out with one of the most lightweight & innovative designs on the market.  With different profiles for standing seam panels making things even more complicated for contractors to have the right standing seam roof anchor for their job.  The Guardian 2-Way Standing Seam Roof Clamp has a unique design that is reversible and will fit the vast majority of standing seam panels, making this anchor one of the most popular on the market.  Many anchors use the popular S-5 clamps for attachment to the panel which is another great option.  When using a self retracting lifeline over 30 foot, we recommend Guardians 00250 Standing seam roof anchor or something equivalent.  Most manufacturers have a similar anchor that attaches just like the 00250 anchor or they use the S-5 clamps.  Any application you run into on your job, we have an anchor that will get'r done!  Browse around for the right anchor point on our site and remember to look out for new roof anchors.  Fall Protection manufacturers are always bring new innovative anchors out on the market and when it comes to standing seam roof panels, there will be newer designs coming soon to make sure we are keeping all our workers safe on the job.

Friday, September 19, 2014

HitchClip Fall Protection Roof Anchor makes roof work Safer & Easier


The HitchClip roof anchor system is one of the most revolutionary anchors ever made for several reasons.  These anchors can be used as a single point anchor rated at 5,000 lbs., but even more than that is the multiple uses already available and more to come.  It's fabricated from lightweight, durable, powder coated aluminum and already comes painted in different colors to match your roof.  This design allows you to use as a permanent anchor point or reuse it, as a permanent anchor it is barely noticeable.  Also, if one of their colors doesn't match your roof, these are one of the few anchors that you can actually paint yourself to match the roof.

http://www.harnessland.com/HitchClip-Roof-Jack-p/10572.htmThe patented key hole design is what really sets this anchor apart from any other on the market.  This allows you to use it as more than just a fall protection anchor.  We are talking easily setting up guardrail systems, staging areas, & work platforms.  There is more accessories coming soon, that we will reveal later, but the possibilities are endless with the key hole design.  Anchors easily install with (6) 16d framing nails or (6) #10 x 2-1/2" exterior screws.  If you have been thinking about getting hitched, now is the time.  Hitchclips are rated up to 420 lbs., if using harness and lanyard rated 420 lbs., these anchors are available in 3 packs and 25 contractor packs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Web Retractable Lanyards and OSHA Regulations

retractable web lanyards for fall prevention

It is no secret that many jobs require workers to perform in hazardous conditions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), 4,628 workers died in 2012 while at work, which is the equivalent of 12 deaths every day, and the number of injuries is even more staggering. Among work-related fatalities in construction, the leading cause is falls, and this statistic extends into several other industries where workers perform duties above the ground or floor or a building.

If it sounds like we’re feeding you doomsday information, don’t worry – there’s good news! Following the right safety procedures, particularly via use of equipment like retractable web lanyards, will keep you and others safe as you maneuver around your work site. Here’s a brief review of the web retractable lanyard, one of our most popular pieces of fall safety equipment.

Safety Equipment Regulations for Falls

First, some background: several different fall protection systems are available that allow companies and contractors to comply with federal and state OSHA safety regulations, and each system is categorized into a separate class or group. Fall arrest systems are the most popular because they allow workers to experience the greatest freedom of movement. These systems keep workers from hitting the ground should they fall from distances of 6 feet or higher and usually consist of a body harness that is attached to an anchor by a lanyard.

However, injuries can occur when people fall from distances of less than 6 feet, and specialized safety equipment has been designed to protect people from such occurrences. One of the most popular systems for short-distance fall protection is the retractable web lanyard. A fall of less than six feet might not feel like a big deal; but trust us, it won’t be fun if you hit the ground!

Although retractable web lanyards are designed for short falls, some versions, known as self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) are made to protect people from falls at greater heights. These devices consist of a lightweight cartridge that is securely attached to a body harness or belt, a spring-loaded coil, a durable web strap wrapped around the coil, and a hook or carabiner at the end of the strap.

The SRL is securely attached to a person’s body, and he or she attaches the hook to an anchor. As the person walks away from the anchor, the web strap is drawn out of the cartridge, and it retracts back into the cartridge as the wearer nears the anchor. If the person should fall, the rotation of the coil activates the lifeline to bring the person to a halt before hitting the ground or other obstructions.

Retractable Web Lanyards from HarnessLand.com 

Retractable web lanyards and SRLs are manufactured by a variety of companies, but they must meet specific guidelines before they comply with OSHA standards and those set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In addition, employers, contractors and anyone else who works from heights will want to ensure that the lanyards meet the following conditions:

  • They do not interfere with the tasks that are to be performed.
  • They prevent people from falling or hitting the ground in the event of a fall. 
  • The retractable web lanyards and SRLs are affordably priced. 
When you look to HarnessLand for your safety equipment, you can rest easy knowing that our lanyards comply with all of the specified fall safety regulations as well as the needs of individual contractors. The SRLs offered by HarnessLand range from a 6-foot retractable lanyard for small jobs to a 50-foot web retractable lifeline with abrasion-resistant webbing. We’ve been named an authorized dealer by every brand we carry, and customer service is a top priority for us. So next time you need to scale a building or perform a dangerous task, unleash your inner Spiderman with a web retractable lanyard from HarnessLand!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Protecting The Public During An Open Construction Project

The safety and risk management procedures to protect construction workers are regulatory requirements, and project managers are usually well-versed in the specific federal or state OSHA mandates. The safety of the general public, on the other hand, is not regulated in the same way. There is no doubt that public safety is an important issue, and many OSHA regulations designed to protect employees also protect the public as an ancillary benefit, but the lack of clear regulations opens construction projects to varied interpretations of phrases such as “reasonable expectations,” “necessary precautions” and “customary measures” when accidents and litigations occur.

If unrestricted, pedestrians and casual passers-by will almost always encroach upon a project’s boundaries. Unlike workers, they will not be wearing hard hats and steel-toed boots. And of course, the vast majority of bystanders have limited or no understanding of basic construction safety precautions. They don’t understand the radius of a crane’s boom or the momentum associated with a suspended girder or generator. They have no experience with falling objects and cannot be expected to know how far a dropped tool can travel on an unfortunate bounce.

Project managers and foremen are not, however, left to devise safety measures on their own. The American National Standard Institute, together with the American Society of Safety Engineers, publishes a comprehensive consensus standard of safety guidelines that contractors and building owners can follow. This standard, titled “ANSI/ASSE A10.34-2001 (R2005), Protection of the Public on or Adjacent to Construction,” is designed to protect the general public from hazards associated with construction activities.

Although project managers are not required to follow the guidelines in this standard, it is always wise to do so. ANSI/ASSE standards are widely recognized by industry, and they are often easier to understand than the regulatory language in OSHA documents. Voluntary adherence to ANSI/ASSE A10.34 demonstrates a concern for public safety, and it serves as evidence that the project utilized the industry’s best practices to manage risks associated with the construction. This is an important point to be able to make when “reasonable expectations,” “necessary precautions” and “customary measures” are discussed at a trial.

The ANSI/ASSE standard for public safety during construction specifically addresses 14 safety hazards that are encountered during construction operations. Warning signs, lighting, netting, flaggers, barricades and the proper method for storing hazardous materials on a job site are all covered. These are issues that require specific safety devices, all of which can be obtained at online safety equipment sites like harnessland.com, but they are also issues that require careful thought and planning before any trenching ever takes place.

Don’t take risks when it comes to public safety. We have all the construction safety equipment you’ll need to keep the public safe during an open construction project!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Product Review: The Hold Me Lifeline Anchor Device

hold me anchor lifeline

The important part of falling down is getting up again. Better yet, make sure you don't fall in the first place.

Those who work or play at any distance above the ground need to be certain that one false step won't be their last. It's why safety harnesses and special climbing equipment exist. In fact, a person is often only as safe as the strength of the lifeline that supports him.

ANSi is Antsy Over Knots

Although not everyone is aware of it, knots have no place in anyone's lifeline. According to the National Cordage Institute, the use of a knot to secure a safety rope can weaken its strength by as much as 50 percent. In fact, ANSi Z-359.1 strictly inveighs against it. So, how else can you secure your lifeline? The answer is simple: The Hold Me Anchor Lifeline Device can provide a safe connection point with no knots required. Its 5,000-pound capacity puts it well above the general recommendation.

What Is an Anchor Lifeline? 

An anchor lifeline device serves as a knot-free means of integrating a vertical lifeline system with an anchorage connector. Its use will permit supporting heavy loads in the air with no danger of disentanglement.

The Hold Me Anchor Lifeline device contains five closely-spaced holes topped by a sixth. Its use entails threading the rope or lanyard tightly through the first four in running-stitch fashion, then pulling it securely through a loop left over after passing it through the fifth. The sixth hole will receive either a carabiner or the free end of the lanyard following its attachment to an anchor point.

How Not to Use the Hold Me Rope Anchor 

Improper use will negate the safety properties of any anchor device. Never, under any circumstances, attach your lifeline to:

- A metal chimney
- A roof hatch or vent
- A television antenna
- A balcony or staircase railing
- A small duct or pipe
- A stationary ladder

No Bottom-Out; No Swing

Always measure carefully to ensure that the rope will reach its greatest length before a falling person or object hits an obstruction. In addition, it's vital to maintain a perpendicular direction between the edge of the lifeline and its anchor to prevent a deadly pendulum effect.
Where distance from the ground is concerned, there can be no skimping on safety. A simple device like the Hold Me Rope Anchor lifeline device is an easy way to meet with ANSi standards while preserving lives in the process.