A proper roof safety system has many elements to be considered and it is important to make sure your workers use equipment how it is intended to be used to avoid accident and injury.
One accident that can occur is called "Bottoming Out". It happens when a worker wearing personal fall protection falls and hits a lower level, the ground or another obstacle before his or her fall is completely arrested because their lifeline is too long. It is important to make sure that the Total Fall Distance is accounted for when planning and installing your fall protection systems.
Another risk is the "Pendulum Effect". This occurs when a worker's lanyard or lifeline allows their movement to take them so far away from their anchor point that if a fall occurs their chance of swinging is increased. The more swinging that occurs the higher the force of the swing and therefore the force with which a worker strikes any objects that are in his or her path increases as well making injuries worse. Another potential risk is that the now taut lanyard or lifeline may break where it to comes into contact with any rough or sharp edges. It is important to keep a worker's anchor points constantly updated to keep the line perpendicular as work progresses-using a horizontal life line that runs parallel to the edge attached to the worker's lanyard can accomplish that.
Using a good roof safety system goes a long way towards making a worker feel secure as well as actually being secure. It is important, however, to never allow the improper use of fall protection equipment to create a false sense of security. Recently Capital Safety came out with a new product called the Nano-Lokedge. It is the first personal self-retracting lifeline (SRL) engineered for both foot level tie off and sharp edge applications." Jeff Martin of Capital Safety warns that workers should never anchor at their feet with equipment not specifically designed for foot level tie-off and by doing so are putting themselves at risk for injury and creating a false sense of security.
The use of safety equipment isn't enough on its own. It is just as important that workers are using in properly and in the right situations for the safety picture to be complete -- a worker's life depends on it.