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:
Over the last few decades worker safety in Canada has become an area of utmost importance for our government, companies and workers. Worker fall protection safety has been a particular area of focus in safety regulations and culture across Saskatchewan and Canada.
Did you know that Saskatchewan's Occupational Health and Safety Regulations states that, "An employer or contractor shall develop a written fall protection plan where:
(a) a worker may fall three metres or more; and
(b) workers are not protected by a guardrail or similar barrier."?
What constitutes a fall protection plan or system? OH&S regulations state, "The fall protection plan required by subsection (1) must describe:
(a) the fall hazards at the worksite;
(b) the fall protection system to be used at the worksite;
(c) the procedures used to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the fall protection system; and
(d) the rescue procedures to be used if a worker falls, is suspended by a personal fall arrest system or safety net and needs to be rescued.
(3) The employer or contractor shall ensure that a copy of the fall protection plan is readily available before work begins at a worksite where a risk of falling exists.
(4) The employer or contractor shall ensure that a worker is trained in the fall protection plan and the safe use of the fall protection system before allowing the worker to work in an area where a fall protection system must be used."
Northern Strands Engineered Fall Protection Division recently completed a job where we installed an Engineered Fall Protection System for a commercial rooftop. We completed the installation of two force management anchors on a standing seam roof. Standing seam clamps are attached to the roof top. Bearer bars bridge the gap between two standing seams. Anchor plates are the riveted to the bearer bars and the pull tested. Finally the anchors are assembled on the anchor plate and torqued. These rooftop anchors are now ready for the customers use.
If you have questions regarding commercial rooftop fall protection plans, please contact the Engineered Fall Protection Division of Northern Strands at 306.242.7073, email email@example.com or visit our webpage http://www.northernstrands.com/fall-protection.aspx
Northern Strands is COR safety certified and is a Mission Zero Charter Member.
We are proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.