In an effort to answer your questions as quickly as possible, we have provided answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you have questions that aren’t listed below, visit the Contact Us webpage. We look forward to hearing from you!
(Q) What is the difference between fall protection, fall arrest, and fall restraint?
(A) Fall Protection is a general term that covers all methods of protecting workers after a fall event from height. Both fall arrest and fall restraint are forms of fall protection. Fall Arrest specifically describes systems that arrest a falling body after a fall from height. Fall restraint describes systems designed with specific-length lanyards to prevent a worker’s center of gravity from reaching a fall hazard while at height.
(Q) Self-Rescue—What do OSHA and ANSI say about self-rescue?
(A) OSHA requires employers to provide workers with self-rescue capability or prompt rescue after a fall from height. Self-rescue simply means that workers use a device or a procedure to return themselves back to the working surface or a lower surface safely. Many devices available today increase the chance for a worker to self-rescue. For example, when a self-retracting lanyard is used with our Anchor Trolley™ and Anchor Track™ Systems, post-fall drift and total fall distances are limited to only a few inches so that the fallen worker can simply “step up” to safety.
(Q) At what height is fall protection required?
(A) Per OSHA 1910, fall protection is required starting at four feet for general industry, and per OSHA 1926, fall protection is required at six feet for the construction industry.
(Q) I am new to fall protection. Which national safety standard is the best guide for using fall protection properly?
(A) ANSI standard Z359.2 (released November 2007) defines all the employer responsibilities for providing fall protection to workers in general industry or the construction industry. OSHA can reference all ANSI Z359 standards as requirements under OSHA’s General Duty Clause.
(Q) Please explain OSHA’s requirement for 5,000-pound anchorage strength.
(A) OSHA requires non-certified anchorages to be capable of supporting 5000 pounds per person attached. A non-certified anchorage has not been designed, checked, or tested by a professional engineer or competent person as defined by OSHA and ANSI. If the anchorage is part of an engineered system that is used under the supervision of a Qualified Person, then the anchorage requirement must be 900 maximum average arresting force (MAAF) for one user and maintain a safety factor of at least two, or at least 1,800 pounds. Per OSHA, a Qualified Person is a person who has a recognized degree or certificate or has extensive knowledge, training, and experience necessary to solve or resolve problems relating to fall protection. For more information, check out these blogs: What’s my Structure’s Anchorage Requirement? and What’s the Difference between an Engineered System and a Non-engineered System?
(Q) What type of energy absorber should be used on Rigid Lifelines® fall protection Anchor Track™ Systems?
(A) Only self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) that limit fall forces to 900 pounds MAAF (Maximum Average Arresting Force) are allowed to be used on our systems. The following lanyards are NOT acceptable for use on Rigid Lifelines’ systems: “rip stitch” lanyards, shock-absorbing lanyards (SALs), “shock packs” attached to fixed-length lanyards, or personal energy absorbers attached to fixed-length lanyards.
(Q) Why does Rigid Lifelines® only allow the use of self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) on their fall protection Anchor Track™ Systems?
(A) Only self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) are approved for use on Rigid Lifelines® Anchor Track™ fall protection systems because SRLs work in combination with our rigid system design to create a fall protection system that best limits fall distance during a freefall event. SRL’s operate by employing a braking system to lessen freefall forces. Because of the self-retracting nature of the SRLs, they limit the fall distance to several inches. However, fixed-length energy absorbing lanyards are not acceptable for use on our systems because fixed-length lanyards make the total fall distance significantly longer, which increases the potential for injury.
(Q) How often should fall protection equipment be inspected?
(A) Fall protection equipment should be inspected per the manufacturer’s requirements. OSHA and ANSI state that equipment must be inspected at a minimum before each use, after a fall event, and annually. The after a fall event and annual inspections must be conducted by a Competent Person who is not the user. Inspect the equipment more frequently if the use is severe. For more information, check out this blog: How to Inspect Your Fall Protection System Effectively.
(Q) Is the ANSI-required "once a year" full inspection of equipment by a competent person OK under all circumstances?
(A) Fall arrest equipment must be inspected by the user before each use, after a fall event, and annually. The after a fall event and annual inspections must be conducted by a Competent Person who is not the user. If the competent person feels that the equipment is being used in an aggressive environment, then the equipment requires more frequent inspections. For more information, check out this blog: How to Inspect Your Fall Protection System Effectively.
(Q) Do Rigid Lifelines® self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) require annual recertification?
(A) Rigid Lifelines® SRLs do not require annual recertification. Our SRLs only require recertification if the following apply:
- the SRL does not pass a Competent Person inspection (required at least annually by ANSI and OSHA);
- the SRL has been subjected to a fall arrest, or;
- the SRL is not functioning properly.
NOTE: Rigid Lifelines’ SRLs can be rebuilt (recertified) over and over again due to interchangeable components.
(Q) How do I return my Rigid Lifelines® self-retracting lanyard (SRL) for repair?
(A) Please visit the Contact Us webpage. Our sales team would be happy to assist you.
(Q) Are systems available in stainless steel?
(A) Yes, some of our systems and components can be supplied in stainless steel. Please visit the Contact Us webpage. Our sales team would be happy to assist you.
(Q) Can Rigid Lifelines® provide systems that can be used for both Material Handling and Fall Protection?
(A) Absolutely. These hybrid systems are typically provided with a lock-out function so that the material handling portion of the system cannot be used while the system is being used for fall protection. Proper training is required. Please visit the Contact Us webpage. Our sales team would be happy to assist you.
(Q) Can fall arrest track be mounted to an overhead crane?
(A) Although each application is different, generally, fall arrest track can be mounted to an overhead crane. Typically, a lock-out-tag-out procedure is used on all dual application systems. Please visit the Contact Us webpage. Our sales team would be happy to assist you.
(Q) Can you provide systems that are spark resistant or explosion proof?
(A) Yes, simply provide the Class, Division, and Group information, and we can check compliance as required.
(Q) Can you provide professional engineering stamped drawings?
(A) Yes, Rigid Lifelines® provides a full range of professional engineering services. Please visit the Contact Us webpage. Our sales team would be happy to assist you.
(Q) Will your system support 5,000 pounds per person as required by OSHA, or does it comply with the OSHA’s “2 to 1 safety factor”?
(A) Our systems are designed by qualified engineers and meet OSHA’s “2 to 1 safety factor.” Every system made by Rigid Lifelines® meets or exceeds all associated OSHA and ANSI fall protection standards.
(Q) Rigid Lifelines® products are compliant with which government standards?
(A) All of our products comply or exceed OSHA 1910, OSHA 1926, and ANSI Z359.
(Q) How do I load test my new Anchor Track™ System?
(A) You don’t need to load test our Anchor Track™ Systems. Because our systems are engineered systems, they just need to be properly installed and inspected by a Competent Person per OSHA. Each system is engineered to meet or exceed all current OSHA and ANSI requirements. For more information, check out this blog: What’s the Difference between an Engineered System and a Non-engineered System? If you wish to conduct a load test anyway, please visit the Contact Us webpage. Our sales team would be happy to assist you.
(Q) I see your systems are rated for 900 pounds: can I put a 900-pound person on it?
(A) Absolutely not. Our systems are rated for 900-pound maximum average arresting force (MAAF). The weight limit for workers carrying tools on our systems is 310 pounds.
(Q) Can we attach a Rigid Lifelines® system to purlins (the sheet-metal Z-strips that are used to support sheet metal roofing)?
(A) We do not typically allow our fall protection systems to be directly attached to purlins unless a structural engineer has reviewed the application for proper strength or sufficient load distribution. If the purlins have been certified by a structural engineer to withstand the load, then yes, our system can be attached to purlins.
(Q) Does your company have any certifications?
(A) Yes, our entire company is certified by ISO 9001:2008. Both of our manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania and Nevada are certified by the American Welding Society’s (AWS) quality management system.
(Q) Do you sell any fall protection systems that do not require building permits?
(A) Yes, our mobile Anchor Track™ Systems, such as our Rolling A-Frame, come in counterweighted and non-counterweighted designs, so building permits and seismic (earthquake) analysis for states like California, Oregon, and Nevada are not required.