Fall Protection FAQS
HOW DO I SET UP A FALL PROTECTION HARNESS WITH A
TWINLEG SRL FROM TWO INDIVIDUAL LIFELINES?
Watch this Werner® Tutorial on how to properly set up your Fall Protection Harness with a Twinleg SRL from two individual lifelines.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POLYESTER AND NYLON WEBBING IN HARNESSES AND LANYARDS?
Nylon (polyamide) and polyester are both synthetic products with very consistent performance properties required for fall protection. Polyester’s great advantage is that it is resistant to more chemical compounds and resists UV degradation better
CAN I “TIE BACK” MY LANYARD TO ITSELF?
Werner Fall Protection will not recommend wrapping a lanyard back into itself unless it is specifically designed for that connection. Even though the gate strength on all Werner lanyards
CAN I WRITE ON MY HARNESS/LANYARD?
The Sharpie® brand felt tip marking pen uses a type of permanent ink that will not cause deterioration
CAN I USE A SHOCK ABSORBING LANYARD FOR RESTRAINT APPLICATIONS?
Yes. A worker can use a shock absorbing lanyard in fall arrest and restraint conditions. In restraint, it will not be possible to generate enough force to activate the shock absorber. Please note: A worker may not use a non-shock absorbing lanyard in a fall arrest application but may use it in restraint.
IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE FOR MY HARNESS AND LANYARD?
All components of the fall protection system must be inspected prior to each use, and at least annually by an OSHA defined “competent person” other than the user. The two-level inspection provides an independent means of determining the condition of the equipment and verify that it is safe for use. Werner Co. does not mandate a 5 year service life for fall protection products. For more information please view the Fall Protection Inspection and Service Life document.
CAN I USE WERNER PRODUCTS WITH THOSE FROM ANOTHER MANUFACTURER?
ANSI and OSHA standards emphasize compatibility of components with a fall protection system. That being said, all pieces of equipment are tested individually and must meet the requisite ANSI standards. It is acceptable to interchange products with another manufacturer. When a product is sold as a system, such as a temporary horizontal lifeline system, the component parts are tested as a system and are not interchangeable.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM FREE-FALL DISTANCE A WORKER CAN FALL WHILE WORKING IN A “FALL ARREST” CONDITION?
The worker can free-fall a maximum of “6 feet” and not come in contact with any obstruction or lower level.
HOW MUCH STRENGTH DOES MY ANCHOR HAVE TO SUPPORT?
According to OSHA regulations, anchorages used for the attachment of personal fall arrest systems shall meet the following requirements:
Construction: 29CFR 1926.502, Subpart M:
Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any other anchoring used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting “5,000 pounds” (22.2kn) per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows:
(i) as part of a complete fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two:
(ii) under the supervision of a qualified person. Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:
- Limit the arresting force of an employee to, 1,800 pounds when used with a full body harness
- Be rigged as such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor contact a lower level
- Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit the deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet. (the length of the shock absorbers on the lanyards)
- And have sufficient strength to withstand the potential impact energy of an employee falling a distance of 6
feet,or the free fall permitted by the system, whichever is less.
DOES MY SELF RETRACTING LIFELINE NEED TO BE RE-CERTIFIED EVERY YEAR?
No. It is required that the end-user inspect the Self Retracting Lifeline before each use, and inspect and document that inspection at least annually. The Self Retracting Lifeline will be required to be re-certified based on the following conditions:
- It has realized the load of a fallen worker
- The load indicator has been revealed
- The snap hook is inoperable
- The cable or webbing has excessive wear or kinks
- The cable or webbing does not engage when tested or it does not release
Re-certification for all Self Retracting Lifelines will be performed in El Paso, Texas.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT A WORKER CAN WEIGH WHILE WEARING A FULL BODY HARNESS?
A worker can weigh a maximum of 310 pounds, including tool weight.
AT WHAT HEIGHT AM I REQUIRED TO WEAR FALL PROTECTION?
The fall protection trigger height is 6 feet in construction and 4 feet in
CAN I CONNECT TWO SNAP HOOKS (OR TWO LANYARDS) TO ONE D-RING?
Werner snap hooks are not designed to hook back into each other or to one D-ring. There is a possibility that unintentional disengagement could occur. Even though all Werner snap hooks gates are rated at the new ANSI standard of 3,600 pounds, the practice of connecting two snap hooks together is not acceptable.
CAN I WASH MY HARNESS AND LANYARD?
Washing your harness and lanyard is allowed following specific cleaning procedures:
- Wipe off all surface dirt with a dampened sponge.
- Squeeze the sponge dry.
- Dip the sponge in a mild solution of commercial soap or detergent.
- Work up a thick lather, and vigorously work back and forth.
- Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
- Hang to dry in a dry and shady area, not directly in the sun.
CAN I ATTACH A LANYARD TO A SELF-RETRACTING LIFELINE?
No. If you require a longer working length for that specific application, you will be required to use a longer self-retracting lifeline. Additionally, Werner does not advocate connecting two snap hooks together. The risk of unintentional disengagement can occur.
CAN I GET A LANYARD LONGER THAN 6 FEET IN LENGTH?
No. The longest length is 6 feet. They will be available in shorter lengths in the future, 3-4-5 feet.
AM I REQUIRED TO BE TIED OFF WHEN USING A PORTABLE LADDER?
No. Neither the ladder standard (29 CFR 1926, subpart X) nor the fall protection standard (29 CFR 1926 subpart M) requires fall protection for workers while working on portable ladders. This can sometimes be confusing as the trigger height in construction
is 6 feet, and 4 feet in
WHAT ARE THE NEW FALL PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION?
Effective June 16th, 2011, employers utilizing alternative fall protection found in the rescinded 1999 Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction will be subjected to OSHA citations if they fail to comply with CFR 1926.501(b)(3).
- Under the new
directiveemployers must follow 1926.501(b)(3)
- 1926.501(b)(3) states…workers engaged in residential roofing construction activities 6 feet or more above
lowerlevel shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or a personal fall protection system.
- Essentially, Roofing Contractors must comply with the same standards as everyone else.
- For reference, Roofing Contractors are allowed to use Alternative Measures of protection such
as:Controlled Access Zones, Covers, Positioning Devices, Warning Lines, and or Warning line and Safety Monitor System.
- The above referenced Alternative Measures are not applicable on most sloped roofs.