Articles by Marty

>Articles by Marty

How To Develop A Fall Protection Plan That Meets OSHA’s Steel Erection Standard

OSHA’s steel erection standard 29 CFR Subpart R 1926.760, encompasses new construction, alteration or repair of “structures” when the erection of steel takes place. Specifically excluded from coverage are Tanks, Electrical Transmission Towers and Communication or Broadcast Towers.

Before lifting something off the ground, a written plan complying with B30.9 must be submitted to the general contractor (GC). Similarly with fall protection, a written plan complying with subpart R must be submitted to the GC. Iron workers live on the top of their world. A carefully developed fall protection plan helps keep them there. […]

Reviewing ANSI Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices

By Marty Sharp
November 3, 2014

We sometimes hear the expression, “His life is hanging by a thread.” This becomes true literally for those who fall while protected by a “fall arrest system.” By definition, this “system” consists of an anchorage connector, a body harness, a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination of these.

This article will discuss one such deceleration device, the “SRD.” What is it? How should it be used properly and safely? What are its advantages? Are there disadvantages? […]

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Your Fall Protection Equipment

Ensuring fall protection devices are properly tested gives worker confifidence and peace of mind
By Marty Sharp
Jul 12, 2007

YOU buy and use fall protection harnesses, lanyards, rope grabs, lifelines, retractables, and other equipment every day. Each item is labeled, ensuring that it conforms to ANSI specifications and OSHA regulations. These product certifications give you confidence and peace of mind.

Everything about fall protection is significant. Each year, injuries and deaths from falls are among the highest among reported accidents in U.S. workplaces. OSHA reported 5,504 violations of the general requirements for fall protection from Oct. 1, 2004 to Aug. 30, 2005; only scaffolding and hazard communication ranked higher. […]

Fall Safety for the Ironworker

Because ironworkers are getting bigger, manufacturers are finding it more challenging to build systems that comply with the 1,800-pound maximum arresting force requirements.
By Marty Sharp
Jul 01, 2003

SOME years ago, I built a harness for an ironworker who had an 80-inch waist and 54-inch thighs. He was bigger around than he was tall. I asked the Safety Director if a person this size should even be 6 feet off the ground. He said, this is a “Right-to-Work” state and if you don’t outfit him, we will have bigger issues. We built him the harness and put him in a short, heavy-duty lanyard. Incidentally, it had more grommets than we’ve ever put on a waist belt. […]

Hanging on a Line

If any feature seems questionable, do not use the unit.
By Marty Sharp
Jul 01, 2006

WE sometimes hear the expression, “His life is hanging by a thread.” This becomes true literally for those who fall while protected by a “fall arrest system.” By definition, this “system” consists of an anchorage connector, a body harness, a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination of these.

This article will discuss one such deceleration device, the “retractable lanyard.” What is it? How should it be used properly and safely? What are its advantages? Are there disadvantages? […]

What’s Your App?

Matching fall equipment to job specifics
By Marty Sharp

Year after year, falls continue to hold the dubious distinction of the most frequent cause of fatalities at construction sites. Simultaneously the number of OSHA citations issued annually for fall arrest violations remains at or near the top of the list. “OSHA’s $100,000 Club of Safety Citations” is a report issued regularly. From September 1, 2011, through February of this year, 11 companies were cited for violations involving fall protection. Proposed penalties range from $589,200 to $102,300. Companies cited were from a cross-section of industries, including steel erection, masonry contractor, construction, general contractor, warehouse, retail, food processor and shipyard/boat repair.

Recently we read that a deputy director of NIOSH said “Falls kill; they are the top cause of construction fatalities accounting for one-third of on-the-job deaths in the industry.” […]

5 Steps for Inspecting Fall Protection Equipment

by Marty Sharp

Years ago fall protection equipment was heavy and uncomfortable. Buckles and D-rings were clumsy, bulky forgings. Harness webbing was stiff and abrasive. No wonder workers avoided wearing them, even when they understood the risks. Manufacturers began to take notice. Changes appeared; slowly at first but now more rapidly. Our wake-up call came in a tragic way.

We had introduced a tower worker’s harness that met all the OSHA and ANSI requirements. Unfortunately, we were totally oblivious to the comfort level we were offering. Successfully passing drop tests, stress requirements and the like was not enough. […]

Retractable Lanyards: The Proof is in the Testing

by Marty Sharp

By definition, a “fall arrest system” consists of an anchorage connector, a body harness, a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination of these. This article will discuss one such deceleration device, “The retractable lanyard.” What is it? How should it be used properly and safely? What are its advantages? Are there disadvantages?

Advantages of retractables

OSHA defines a “retractable” as a deceleration device containing a drum-wound line which can be slowly extracted from, or retracted onto, the drum under slight tension during normal employee movement, and which, after onset of a fall, automatically locks the drum and arrests the fall. […]

NIOSH-OSHA Campaign Outlines a Comprehensive Process for Fall Prevention

The campaign’s goal is to prevent falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds by encouraging construction contractors to plan ahead, provide the right equipment and train everyone to use the equipment safely.
By Marty Sharp

The “Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction,” an initiative launched jointly by NIOSH and OSHA, targets companies of all sizes but significant efforts are focused on raising awareness among smaller companies. The campaign’s goal is to prevent falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds by encouraging construction contractors to plan ahead, provide the right equipment and train everyone to use the equipment safely. This three-step process is basic. […]

Fall Protection Essentials

by Marty Sharp

Year after year, falls continue to hold the dubious distinction of the most frequent cause of fatalities at construction sites. Why?

Fall protection equipment manufacturers, contractors and construction workers all share the responsibility. Reliable equipment in the hands of trained personnel is a big part of the solution.

Determine the application
As manufacturers, we are listening better. All reputable manufactures of fall protection devices are in ongoing discussions with end-users. It’s critical that we ask the right questions.

I recall a situation many years ago: We sold some 5/8-inch cable to a customer and later learned that it was undersized for the job, resulting in a failure and a fatality. Had we asked more questions at the order desk, the tragedy would not have happened. I have become a fanatic, insisting that our people ask about application before completing an order. Then and only then, we take what we hear to our engineers and make sure our products meet the need, are user-friendly and are OSHA compliant. […]