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:
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.
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For the third year in a row Northern Strands attended one of the largest safety trade shows in Western Canada. The Industrial Safety Seminar was held at Praireland Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Hundreds of people interested in learning more about work place safety were in attendance. The Northern Strands double booth featured an Advanced Davit Arm System for entry and retrieval applications. Below is a picture of the Davit System set up at the Industrial Safety Seminar
Many industry experts visited our booth to inquire about Northern Strands safety related divisions; Safety Training, Engineered Fall Protection, Wire Rope and Rigging and Suspended Access. One of the more popular questions was, "What training courses do you offer?" This was an excellent question!
Our current training courses include:
- Fall Arrest Training
- Crosby Rigging Seminars
- Wirelock Socketing Seminars
- First Aid and CPR training
- Tugger Safety Training
- Suspended Access Equipment Training
To see upcoming Training Courses visit the Northern Strands Training Calendar http://www.northernstrands.com/calendar.aspx Want to book your crew and don't see a day that works for you? Our Trainers are flexible, call us to discuss a time and day that does work for you.
Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
Northern Strands is on the cover of Business and Industry Magazine! We are featured in the Mining edition of the magazine. It's our 45th Anniversary and this is a great start to the year. This is an exciting time for Northern Strands. Check out the fantastic cover! You might recognize him...
The article mentions all 5 divisions of Northern Strands and how we have evolved into the company we are today. Mining and Attachments, General Rigging, Engineered Fall Protection, Suspended Access and Training are all referenced. Very interesting article with some great quotes from our owner, Mr. Clarke.
Here is the link to the PDF of the article!
Northern Strands cover page and article in Business and Industry Magazine.pdf (2.37 mb)
Northern Strands is celebrating it's 45th Anniversary! For 45 years Northern Strands has been an international supplier of mine hoist ropes.
Throughout the year we will be posting blogs exploring the history of Northern Strands and how it has evolved into the five divisions it's currently comprised of; Mining(mine hoisting solutions), Engineered Fall Protection, Suspended Access, Rigging and Safety Training.
Northern Strands is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada owned and operated.