Horizontal Lifelines for Pipe Rack Safety

01 / 25 / 2015 | Safety Articles | Ryan Michels

While working at heights on a construction site can be dangerous, there are many OSHA safety regulations an employer must provide to their employees regarding equipment that will keep them safe. This is especial true when working on pipe racks. One of these preventions is a personal fall arrest system to all employees that are exposed to vertical drops of 6 feet or more. A pipe rack personal fall arrest stem will provide a lifeline to a worker in case of a fall.

OSHA regulations state that an employee working on an elevated pipe rack is in compliance with fall protection regulations if the following three steps are followed.

  • The employee is protected at all times by an adequate fall arrest system (harness and lanyard).
  • A safe means of access and egress is provided.
  • The work can be performed with reasonable ease without a platform.

While pipe rack applications often lend themselves to horizontal lifeline systems. According to OHSA regulation 1926.502(d)(8) –  Horizontal lifelines shall be designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system, which maintains a safety factor of at least two. A fall protection system that meets OSHA requirements must either hold 5,000 pounds (per person) or a fall protection qualified engineer must develop a system that can withstand double the force/load of maximum arresting force of all workers using the system.

W.S. Safety’s qualified engineers specialize in the unique problems that can arise when working with pipe rack fall arrest protection applications. Many times these problems can be addressed by installing anchorage posts and horizontal lifeline systems. Anchorage posts allow for localized work applications and horizontal lifelines provide safe travel access to other locations. Contact us for your pipe rack fall protection and fall equipment needs.

About the author

Ryan Michels Ryan has been involved in the design and installation of custom fall protection systems with W.S. Safety Technologies since 2005. Ryan is a specialist in the different types of products, applications, and regulatory codes governing proper design and use of fall protection systems.

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