Northern Strands
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How Do Fall Arrest Lanyards Work?

Did you know that a wire rope lanyard designed for fall arrest is not the same as a wire rope sling that is designed for lifting? 

When used as a fall arrest lanyard, wire rope by itself is unable to absorb any type of energy. Because there is no elasticity or stretch, this will subject a worker to a injury or even a potential amount of fatal arrest-force should they happen to fall while wearing it.

When wire rope is used as a connecting device, it is absolutely essential that a Personal Energy Absorber is used along with it.  A PEA should actually be used with any lanyard or connecting device that allows for potential free fall, despite the fact that the webbing or rope of some lanyard types does actually absorb small amounts of energy. 

Most jurisdictions, including Saskatchewan, prohibit fall forces in excess of 8 kilonewtons. Therefore, employers are legally required to ensure that a personal fall arrest system used by their employees is set up in order to prevent arrest forces in excess of 1800 pounds.

The amount of force a human body can withstand has not technically been verified by modern science. Less arrest force is generally easier on a person's body than more fall force. Additional information on this topic can be found here.

Wire rope slings should never be used as connecting devices in a Personal Fall Arrest System; it will subject a falling worker to more fall force than a proper energy-absorbing lanyard would.

Northern Strands provides training on both the proper use of fall arrest equipment and the proper use of rigging equipment. If you would like more information one either of these programs, please contact us.

Contact us at:
training@northernstrands.com  
306-242-7073

3 Ways to Deal with Maximum Arresting Force

The Term MAF, also known as Maximum Arrest Force, comes directly from Section 102 of The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 under clause (c) which states that "An employer or contractor shall ensure that a personal fall arrest system required by these regulations...applies a peak fall-arrest force not greater than eight kilo-newtons to a worker..."

A kilo-newton is a force that is equal to approximately 225 lbs-force. Where the Saskatchewan fall-arrest legislation states Max Arrest Force is 8kN, this is equal to 1800 lbs-force. So how do we abide by this legislation and what does it mean?

In the Northern Strands Fall Protection course, they train that Personal Fall Arrest Systems should be a last resort, but S102(c) was put in place to make sure that the risk of injury from the fall-arrest equipment itself is reduced.

There are 3 principal ways we can make sure that we don't exceed the MAF:

1) Keep Free Fall to a minimum - use the shortest possible lanyard, anchor well overhead, and use retractables.

2) Minimize Weight - limit the number of tools that will be supported by the full-body harness.

3) Use the Most Distance possible to come to a stop.

This last point might be hard to imagine, but picture it like this: would you rather bring your vehicle to a stop using brakes over a distance of a block, or would you rather bring your vehicle to a stop against a brick wall? The energy of any moving object whether its a falling person or a moving vehicle has to be reduced gradually or there will be an excessive stopping (arresting) force put on the object.

These two controls are actually outranked by another. What about not performing the work at heights in the first place? Obviously this is not always a practical solution, but nonetheless its worth considering. Even trying to relocate certain job steps to the ground level is better and safer than performing 100% of the work at heights. Give us a call and we can help you out with some more proactive fall protection solutions.

Contact us at:
training@northernstrands.com  
306-242-7073

Proper Fall Protection Harness Fitting

One of the most asked questions in Fall Arrest Training is, "Do my fall arrest harness straps need to be tight?".   Yes, it is extremely important that your harness straps be tight and your harness fit properly.  A degloving injury is one type of injury that can result from improper fitting of a fall arrest harness.   Which is an extremely painful injury. 

How do you know if your harness leg straps are fitted properly?  One method is the Hand/Fist Test.

To determine if your fall arrest harness leg straps are adjusted properly, follow these basic steps:
1. Make your hand flat.
2. Insert your hand between your leg and the leg strap until the strap is across your wrist.
3. Make your hand into a fist.
4. Try to pull your fist in between the leg strap and your leg.

Did fist make it through? If so your leg straps need to be tightened until you cannot pull your fist out.  If you weren’t able to complete step 2 above then your leg straps are actually too tight.  As you may know, properly fitting the full body harness leg straps is just one small part of using fall arrest equipment.

To receive more information on proper fall arrest harness fitting, fall arrest equipment or fall protection training please contact the Northern Strands Safety Training Division at 306-242-7073, by email training@northernstrands.com or visit our website http://www.northernstrands.com/training.aspx 

Attached is our recently completed Safety Training Brochure.   This brochure contains information on safety training courses for the construction, mining and emergency responder industries.

Northern Strands Safety Training Brochure.pdf (2.34 mb) 

In addition to training, Northern Strands Engineered Fall Protection Division offers a variety of fall protection systems, solutions and services. Custom-engineered solutions can be designed to suit specific requirements.   For more information you can call 306-242-7073, email lifelines@northernstrands.com or visit our website http://www.northernstrands.com/fall-protection.aspx

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

Northern Strands recieves high praise from Winsafe!

Northern Strands and it's employees recently received a letter of thanks and appreciation from Winsafe  Corp. regarding the launch of the SaskPower Poplar River Boiler Maintenance Work Platform (BMWP).  Northern Strands Suspended Access and Training divisions were instrumental in the successful launch of the BMWP.

Below is the testimonial letter from Winsafe:

"I would like to take a moment to thank you, Northern Strands, and the Northern Strands team for their contributions to the recent successful first launch of the SaskPower Poplar River Boiler Maintenance Work Platform (BMWP).

As you may be aware, while in transit to Saskatchewan, a number of training, certification, and documentation requirements were conveyed to us. Ray Nemethi’s efforts on the ground while our team was in the air were instrumental in making it possible for our employees to be able to perform work at the SaskPower site and to be in a position to successfully perform the launch. It clearly tooka great deal of coordination in a short period of time, and we are very thankful for those efforts.

Also, Ryan Green was able to travel to our hotel in Assiniboia on equally short notice to provide Fall Arrest and Confined Space certification training. We were impressed with his presentation and teaching skills and are likewise thankful for his efforts and his flexibility.

This project carries a very high profile and has been of significant importance for both of our organizations. The efforts put forth by Ray, Ryan, and other behind-the-scenes members of the Northern Strands team are certainly solid reminders of why we are pleased to be partnered with you."

What a great testimonial letter from Winsafe!   Thank you Winsafe!

Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated and are the official supplier of Winsafe products in Canada.

 

 

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