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Re: Fall Protection 5000# load

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I'll throw a curve at you; I treat the loads as ultimate strength.  I also
do not use the 5,000 lb anchor load when I DESIGN the anchor.  I've been
through this discussion a lot and here is my approach.  A standard harness
cannot load the worker more than 1,800 lbs per OSHA and this is determined
by actual test of the harness and lanyard system.  1,800 lb load per worker
with a load factor of at least 2.0.  See below for the reasoning.

Paul Blomberg
Phoenix, AZ

OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR)

1926.502.d.15 -- Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest
equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or
suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN)
per employee attached, *or shall be designed, installed, and used as

(i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a
safety factor of at least two; and

(ii) under the supervision of a qualified person.

1926.502.d.16 -- Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:

(i) limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds (4 kN) when
used with a body belt;  *[body belts no longer allowed for fall arrest]*

*(ii) limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN)
when used with a body harness;*

(iii) be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6
feet (1.8 m), nor contact any lower level;

(iv) bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration
distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.07 m); and, (v) have sufficient
strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of an employee free
falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8 m), or the free fall distance permitted
by the system, whichever is less.

Note: If the personal fall arrest system meets the criteria and protocols
contained in Appendix C to subpart M, and if the system is being used by an
employee having a combined person and tool weight of less than 310 pounds
(140 kg), the system will be considered to be in compliance with the
provisions of paragraph (d)(16) of this section. If the system is used by
an employee having a combined tool and body weight of 310 pounds (140 kg)
or more, then the employer must appropriately modify the criteria and
protocols of the Appendix to provide proper protection for such heavier
weights, or the system will not be deemed to be in compliance with the
requirements of paragraph (d)(16) of this section.

On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 11:15 AM, Drew Morris <dmorris(--nospam--at)> wrote:

> How do you treat the 5000# load for fall arrest design?  In the past, I
> have treated this as a strength level force, but the local municipality
> informed me that they consider it to be a service load based on their
> review of OSHA literature.
> --
> *
> Drew Morris, PE*| Project Engineer
> BBFM Engineers, Inc. <>
> 510 L Street, Suite 200 | Anchorage, Alaska 99501
> Ph: (907)274-2236 | Direct: (907)270-2240 | Web:

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