OSHA 1926.104 is a federal regulation that provides requirements for safety belts, lifelines, and lanyards (SLL). These requirements should be incorporated into your company’s safety program. The rules should spell out proper use of SSL. Have you reviewed those lately?
While the rules are clear, they are often misunderstood and misapplied. The problem with misunderstanding and misapplication is so bad that falls consistently rank in the top three causes of industrial deaths.
So, how can you avoid SLL problems? Here are some tips:
- Inspect SLL before use. Look for frayed edges, tears, and signs of abrasion. This method beats “testing by breakage in use” every time.
- If you do fall and your SSL saves you, then you know your inspection paid off. But as grateful as you might be to that SSL, the force of your body weight times the distance you traveled has ruined that SSL for repeat use. OSHA estimates this force to be about 5,400 lbs! Take the SSL out of service and replace it.
- Lifelines don’t work unless they are secured to something solid. Securing them to electrical raceway is a mistake, as raceway supports can’t handle 5,400 lbs of force. Don’t secure the lines to steam pipes (for obvious reasons). Secure only to a structural member or point of anchorage that can hold at least 5,400 pounds.
- Secure lifelines above the point of operation. Otherwise, the distance to the attachment point will add to your total fall distance, greatly increasing the total force.
- OSHA provides construction industry regulations for eye and face protection in 29CFR 1926.102. OSHA can fine employers for violations. What OSHA cannot do is find work for blind electricians.
Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection