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RE: Fall Protection System - Loading

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Look closely, the 5400lb requirement may be the caternary reaction at the
supporting steel member. 

-----Original Message-----
From: RajSTC(--nospam--at) [mailto:RajSTC(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 7:36 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Fall Protection System - Loading

Recently, I was involved with the design of a fall protection system, for 
personnel engaged in activities on top of trucks in petroleum product
rack.  I was asked to follow OSHA guidelines.  According to OSHA, "Lifelines

shall be secured above the point of operation to an anchorage or structural 
member capable of supporting a minimum dead weight of 5,400 pounds".  Design

based on this requirement resulted in lot of structural steel, which seems
me to be an overkill.  The project was on a fast track, so I could not do 
enough research before sketching the details.

Now that the project is behind me (except for comments from all those 
self-styled structural engineers, like "which idiot designed this ?") I can 
get to the bottom of the design philosophy.  I am curious to know the basis 
on which OSHA came up with their recommendation.  Yes, it is a dynamic 
problem, but what assumptions or tests led to the 5,400 load?  Am I
in stressing the steel members to their yield limit, considering the loading

to be extraordinary?  Is it possible to get theoretical basis for the 
recommendation etc.  I am looking forward to some lively discussions on the 
topic.  Thanks, in advance.