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  1. #1
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    Default Fall Protection On Aerial Apparatus

    Hi all,

    Been straining my brain over fall protection on aerial devices. According to Alberta Health and Safety we have to clip in at the top of the aerial with an arrest harness (Now is that a waist belt or Full body harness?)
    According to our safety officer - we should be clipped in to the ladder and have a stop every 10 feet. This would mean being clipped in to the ladder at all times and have two carabiners.

    Does any one know if this is part of NIOSH requirments, or is it department SOPS that rule ladder requirments?

    Dont get me wrong I just want to get the proper guidlines in place - Im all for safety and if we need to install a safety line on our aerial then we will.

    Thanks for the help!
    Dave


  2. #2
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    Dave, there are different levels of fall protection and "fall arrest" is one of the last options one should take. When working on an aerial ladder you do not need fall arrest, you need fall restraint, which is a system that prevents a fall from happening in the first place. A ladder belt with the 17-3/4 inch connection required by NFPA will do this for you. You do not need to be clipped into the ladder until you stop and work from the ladder. At that point the ladder changes from a means of access to an area of work. A lot of departments in Canada made the mistake of using fall arresting lanyards and full body harnesses on aerials. The reality is, aerials are not rated as fall arrest anchors, which must have a strength of 5000lbs. If, however you are working out of a bucket on an aerial tower, you can only use a belt and fall restraint system if travel can be restricted in all directions. As this can be difficult to acheive, you will likely need a full body harness and fall arresting lanyard. There should be rated fall arrest anchors in the bucket.

    I am in Calgary and teach fall protection and rope rescue so if you would like, you can PM me and we can probably talk or I could come down to High River.
    Sometimes, in order to make an operation idiot proof, you must remove the idiot!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, I was hoping someone from Calgary was on here. As part of your SOP's on aerial - do the guys have to be clipped in on ascent/decent? or is it as stated in OHS to be clipped in when you reach your height that you will be working?
    When we got our aerial we were suckered into the fall arrest harness - those of us that understand climbing fought for the waist belts, but were ultimatly over ruled. Now we are purchasing belts - 2 years later .

    Thanks for the help Resq!

  4. #4
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    You do not have to be clipped in for ascent and descent. Only when you stop, at which point that spot becomes your work area. If your harnesses have work positioning rings at the waist, you can buy short attachment lanyards to use for positioning. Do not use a lanyard that is long enough to allow a fall and do not use a fall arrest lanyard and rear attachment. By doing this, you are not complying with OH&S. The ladder is not rated as a fall arrest anchor.
    Sometimes, in order to make an operation idiot proof, you must remove the idiot!

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    When Pierce demo'd their aerial for us we used waist belts just on the ladder and in the bucket. The platform was somewhat enclosed so there was no belt used. I don't think they ever mentioned the ladder being rated as an arrest anchor or not. Since we were not the market, it wasn't a big issue for us--we were just "playing."
    The truck was demo'd in May 2004.

  6. #6
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    Again thanks for the clarification Resq! Our lanyards are about 2 feet, they seem to give us enough room for mobility. We are running Full time applicants through the physical this weekend and one component is the aerial climb - 75 degree with airpack on. They will have the full harness on with a pulley at the tip of the ladder down to a belay device.
    Again thanks for the help Resqtek!
    Dave

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