Before we answer the question “A Personal Fall Arrest System Consists Of” lets see what OSHA says about fall from height. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls from heights such as roofs, ladders, and scaffolds account for more fatalities than any other type of construction accident. Every year, between 150 and 200 workers are killed and 100,000 are injured as a result of falls on the job.
The provision of “personal fall arrest systems” to employees is one strategy for preventing these fatalities and injuries.
OSHA regulations mandate that a worker’s employer provide a personal fall arrest system if the worker is at risk of falling six feet or more.
According to New York Labor Law 240, the owner of the construction site or any contractors and/or subcontractors can be held responsible if the worker dies or is injured as a result of the lack of these safety materials.
Not only must a personal fall arrest system be made available, but it also needs to meet certain requirements. It almost appears as though the worker was not provided with any safety equipment if the system does not meet these requirements.
What Is A Personal Fall Arrest System
A personal fall arrest system is an important part of a safety program for workplace. A personal fall arrest system, also known as a PFAS, is intended to prevent a person from hitting a lower floor level or other objects in the event of a fall. It is intended to be used in situations where other types of fall protection are not practical or feasible.
A Personal Fall Arrest System Consists Of
Every personal fall arrest system consists of a full body harness, a connecting means, and an anchorage point. Being familiar with the three main components of your PFAS and what each of them does is important as part of a fall protection program. Preventing a dangerous fall is important for each of these three parts.
It is important to keep in mind that no PFAS can be used without the supervision of a Competent Person.
The term “Competent Person” refers to a person who has been assigned by the employer the duty of effectively overseeing, implementing, and monitoring the employer’s fall protection program. It is necessary for a competent person to be able to identify, evaluate, and address both current and potential fall hazards. This individual has the authority to eliminate identified hazards immediately.
The use of a PFAS and its three components necessitate the supervision of a Competent Person.
Component Of The Personal Fall Arrest System
- The wearable component of a personal fall arrest system is the FULL BODY HARNESS, also known as a safety harness. A worker’s connection to the anchorage point is made possible by the full-body harness, which prevents the worker from falling and hitting a lower level or object. Safety belts were previously used as an alternative to the full-body harness. For PFASs, this is no longer considered safe. A full-body harness ensures that the worker remains straight after a fall by distributing the forces of the fall throughout the body. Because a safety belt focuses all of a fall’s forces on a single part of the body and makes it easy for a worker to slip out, the only approved option for fall arrest workers is a full body harness.
What a full-body harness needs:
The full-body harness must distribute force throughout the body; it must ensure the person is straight after a fall; it must limit the maximum arresting force to 1,800 lbs; and it must include a keeper to control the ends of any dangling straps.
- The second component of a personal fall arrest system is the connecting means. The length of a worker’s potential fall is determined by the connecting means, which are intended to attach to the anchorage point and full body harness. There are two primary types of means of connection: a self-retracting lifeline and a lanyard. In different scenarios, each connecting means is used. A self-retracting lifeline must be used to limit a person’s fall distance if there are obstacles they may encounter during the fall. The worker must always wear, attach, and anchor the connecting means, regardless of whether they are using a lanyard or a self-retracting lifeline.
The following requirements must be met by all connecting methods:
- All connectors must be matched in size and proportion, and the gates must be able to withstand a minimum load of 3,600 lbs.
- Must be the right length in accordance with the calculated fall distance
- Must be connected to the anchor and full-body harness
- Must be less than 1,800 lbs.
- To prevent rollout, snaphooks and carabiners must be self-locking or double-locking.
Self-Retracting Lifeline: A self-retracting lifeline is one option for a connective device. These devices link an anchorage to a safety harness. When in use, SRLs shorten the fall distance and save energy. Workers are able to move in an elevated position because the lifeline is easy to pull out and retract. An SRL’s internal braking system is activated when a worker falls, preventing them from moving. The employee will be able to move around again once the tension has subsided.
There are a few differences between SRLs and fall protection lanyards.
- Width: SRLs can be extended or shortened as needed, whereas lanyards typically have a fixed length determined by the potential for a fall.
- Time to activate: Typically, SRLs can be activated faster than fall protection lanyards.
Workers can be shielded from both horizontal and vertical falls with the help of personal fall protection systems. A worker falls horizontally on the level they are standing on – That is horizontal fall. A vertical fall, on the other hand occurs between two distinct levels, similar to a worker falling from one location to another.
A personal fall arrest system can be modified to meet the requirements of either type of fall. When a fall occurs, employees must wear appropriate fall protection.
The typical parts of both kinds of falls are listed here.
- Protection from vertical falls: To protect themselves from falling vertically, workers use a vertical lifeline assembly. A full-body harness, anchorage points, and connecting devices are all part of this system. The lifeline hangs vertically, in the same direction that a worker would fall. Shock absorbers or a tensioner component may also be included in the protection system if required.
- Protection from horizontal falls: A horizontal lifeline and anchorage connectors make up a horizontal fall protection system. The elevation of the two anchorages is the same. These systems can also include a tensioner or shock absorber, like vertical ones.
Lanyard: A lanyard is a short, pliable rope, wire rope, or webbing strap with connectors at both ends. One end of a lanyard is attached to a full-body harness, and the other end is attached to an anchorage connector, deceleration device, shock absorber, or anchorage point. If a worker falls, many lanyards come equipped with an internal or external shock absorber to lessen the impact.
Needs for the Lanyard:
A self-retracting lifeline connects the worker’s safety harness to an anchorage point in the same way that a lanyard does, but with one key difference. It must be flexible rope, wire rope, or webbing strap. It can not be longer than 6 feet. It can hang freely. It must be attached to or include a deceleration device that slows the worker down in the event of a fall. It must meet a minimum tensile load of 5,000 lbs. A self-retracting lifeline must limit the worker’s free fall distance to two feet or less and retracts automatically instead of hanging freely. It only needs to withstand a minimum tensile load of 3,000 lbs because it serves as a self-retracting lifeline.
- Anchorage Point: An anchorage point is the third and final component of a personal fall arrest system. During and after a fall, a person is held in place by an anchorage point. Most of the time, this is something that stays put on the building where work is being done. The most common choice for an anchor point is a steel member. The anchorage point’s load-bearing capabilities should be assessed and checked on any washers and bolts used.
Conditions for the anchorage point:
- A tensile strength of at least 5,000 pounds for each person attached.
- In order to support the intended load, it must comply with specific design and installation requirements.
Understanding the purpose of PFAS and its components is just one aspect of fall protection safety. It is also necessary to be positioned at a height that prevents free fall greater than 6 feet. If you are interested in learning more about fall protection training, we suggest getting one.
A personal fall arrest system is absolutely necessary for workplace safety. By preventing a falling person from reaching the ground, the equipment safeguards workers at height. If a worker is at risk of falling from an elevated position, OSHA mandates personal fall arrest systems. To comply with OSHA regulations, the system must also have specifics installed by a qualified individual.
So, i, conclusion if you are asked – A Personal Fall Arrest System Consists Of?
The answer is – A connecting device, a full-body harness, and an anchorage are the three parts of a personal fall arrest system. In order to provide workers with the maximum level of protection, each feature must be properly secured and positioned. To create a safer workplace, it is essential to understand these three aspects.
Note: There must be a routine inspection plan in place for all available personal fall arrest system, as every personal fall arrest system must be inspected for damage.