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Clarifying OSHA regulations for anchor points

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

Working in high locations can be a dangerous for employees in New Jersey. In the construction industry, many workers rely on fall prevention systems to protect their lives in case of a workplace accident. These systems require strong anchor points. Because of the inherent dangers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has propagated a series of regulations designed to protect workers operating in high locations while using equipment to protect them from falls.

Many safety experts believe that the OSHA regulation for anchor points in a fall arrest system require that each point support at least 5,000 pounds per person attached. This limit is designed to ensure that an anchor point will not fail in case of a workplace accident. However, the relevant regulation is more open-ended; it requires support for either 5,000 pounds or twice the amount of force generated in a fall.

When an average 220-pound worker falls over 6 feet in a free fall while using a fall prevention system, that worker generates from 900 to 1,800 pounds of force. This means that each anchor point could support 1,800 to 3,600 pounds per person and still meet relevant safety regulations. Of course, testing is necessary before installing such an anchor point. Anchor points in a fall arrest system could make the difference between life and death or a serious injury for workers on the job.

In many workplaces, federal safety regulations are neglected. Even in workplaces where safety is a priority, the danger of some jobs means that workers regularly face a risk of serious on-the-job accidents and injuries. An injured worker can consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer about how to best secure the compensation they deserve.