We discussed this briefly in the Chat room last week and I'd like to bring it up again. How do you go about selecting the correct type of fall protection equipment for a given application?. Is there a set "recipe" for fall equipment?.
Just as a side note, we are told here at the local PoCo, that after the end of this year our Pole belts will no longer comply with the in-house Safety regulations for those that work from poles or EWP's (Bucket Trucks) and we will be given new safety harnesses to use. The only thing that I'm a bit "iffy" about is what on a pole, do you tie the line to?. Personally I prefer the pole-belt. Is this a good move for my employers?.
Just a reminder that some harnesses are very dangerous. They cut off the circulation in the legs when you hang on them and can be deadly. If anyone can find an article on this, please provide a link (I read it several months ago). The suggestion was to have a parachute type harness, but I don't believe these are in general use yet.
If you have a situation where someone falls and is hanging and seems in great shape, PLEASE get them down quickly.
Re: Fall Protection Equipment#150165 08/12/0512:13 AM08/12/0512:13 AM
If you are on a scissor lift, no fall protection gear is required. If you are in a bucket, you must use fall-protection gear. This can be either a harnes with lanyard, or a body belt with an inertial cable. You have the option of tying off to either the bucket or the structure.
As an example....we recently had a city worker die after a tree limb 'bounced' him out of the bucket. He was not tied off.
Another example...a few years back, an electrician was working on a casinl sign 100 ft. up. He was tied off to the bucket. The lift had something break, so both he and the bucket fell about 100ft. He got hurt-bad. The alternative- assuming there was something he could have anchored himself to- would have left him swinging in the breeze. Maybe passers-by would have seen him and called for help. Maybe the fire dept. could reach that high.
Re: Fall Protection Equipment#150168 08/16/0509:47 AM08/16/0509:47 AM
I tend to agree with you on the potential benefit to using anchor points outside the bucket, however the aerial lift standards prohibit anchoring to any structures outside the bucket dont they?
see 1910.67(c)(2)(iii)"Belting off to an adjacent pole, structure, or equipment while working from an aerial lift shall not be permitted."
When using fall protection gear in bucket trucks, it is important to use an adjustible lanyard and ensure that it is adjusted to serve as a restraint device, preventing the fall from occuring, as the bucket does not likely meet the 5000lbs requirement for a fall arrest anchor.
Re: Fall Protection Equipment#150169 08/19/0504:16 AM08/19/0504:16 AM
Danc, Having worked for a PoCo for a few years, I can agree with what you are saying. Tying off to a thing like a pole is just not done here, when working from an EWP (Bucket truck). You are required here to tie off your Safety Belt, only to the side anchors on the side of the Bucket. There was a serious accident here some years back, where a pole gave way, half-way through a Hot-Stick job and one of the workers was pulled out of the bucket as the pole fell to the ground. The guy is in a wheelchair to this day. Considering that most Bucket trucks thes days have a Double Redundancy system built into the Hydraulics, there is no need to tie off to anything apart from the Bucket. Our bucket trucks undergo a rigorous test every 3 months here and they haven't failed once.
Re: Fall Protection Equipment#150170 08/19/0512:21 PM08/19/0512:21 PM
I believe you are referring to "Suspension Trauma" which is caused by being suspended (many types of harness can cause this) in a harness in a position which stresses the heart and decreases bloodflow to the extremeties and brain.
I cannot yet cite anything to support the rule as I learned it....that is, you can "tie off" to the structure- BUT-
I have been in many situstions wher you did not remain in the bucket, or there was no bucket (as such). Climbing a water tower or broadcast antenna is a situation where you attach your gear to the structure, and move it as you go along. Servicing a billboard is another where you might use a bucket to get to the access hatch- then tie off to the sign as you clamber about inside.
I note that 1910.67 also frown upon climbing out of the bucket, or placing a ladder in the bucket. I also note that 1910.67 does not distinguish between a "scissor lift" and a "bucket lift." This is unrealistic- as not only do job requirements sometimes require such activities- but OSHA 'letter' rulings have made a great number of distinctions between a "scissor lift" and a "bucket lift."
So Danc, I have to admit that you have the rule book on your side. I suppose that I'm not the first to suggest that the "book" has a few problems :-)