Q: Can you connect a snaphook into the eye of another hook?
No. Both OSHA and ANSI standards indicate that snaphooks and carabiners should not be connected to each other. The hook also needs to align with the applied load if connected to the eye of another hook, the hook may not be able to move or rotate when a load is applied. Compatibility between the two connections may also be a concern.
Q: What is the capacity of the DBI-SALA® Suspension Trauma Safety Strap (model 9501403)?
It has a capacity of 420 lbs. (one person).
Q: Is it acceptable to attach your fall protection system to scaffolding?
Yes, if the scaffold will support the potential loadings, and the scaffold manufacture approves such use, you can attach your fall protection system. Make certain your connecting hardware incorporates hooks large enough to fully close and lock when attached to the scaffolding (ex. Lanyard with rebar hook). Also make sure the connecting hardware (snap hook) is allowed to be used in this orientation.
Q: Can DBI-SALA® Tip Over Roof Anchors be used as end anchors on a horizontal lifeline system?
Yes, depending on anchorage surface, type of fasteners and the horizontal lifeline system. Refer to the user instructions for each of the components for complete details or contact Capital Safety for specifics.
Q: What harness and lanyard fall protection products are recommended for easy clean up, such as when used around asbestos, paint, etc.?
We suggest resist-coated web products. Resist-coated webbing is polyurethane and will allow the web to be cleaned much easier. Capital Safety offers several DBI-SALA® brand harnesses, lanyards and anchor straps that incorporate the specialized resist-coated web.
Q: What does the statement “100 percent fall protection” refer to?
The term “100 percent fall protection” means that, at all times when a person is exposed to fall hazards (when at or above a given height), he or she must be protected by an active or passive fall protection system. Active systems include fall arrest systems such as a full body harness, lanyard and anchor point. A passive system could be a guardrail or net.
For example, if a company indicates that 100 percent fall protection is required above 6 feet, a worker climbing a fixed 20-foot ladder to a roof should be protected by a cage, ladder safety system or other active fall protection while climbing as well as when exiting the ladder onto the roof. A positioning or travel restraint device could be a part of this 100 percent fall protection system. However, most often a backup fall arrest rated system is also used while connected to the positioning or travel restraint system.
Q: What types of training does Capital Safety offer?
Capital Safety offers a full range of fall protection and rescue training, including Competent Person training, Awareness training, Qualified Person training, Inspection training, OSHA and climbing courses and more. Our programs range from four hours to five days and can be taken at one of our training centers, or we can come to your facility. In addition, we can customize a course for your specific facility or jobsite needs. For more information, click on training on our website.
Q: What is the anchorage minimal resistance?
According to the NR-35, the anchorage points must have strength to support a maximum applicable load. This means that a professional legally authorized must know the applicable force to select the anchorage points. Usually, a safety factor 2 is used to determine the minimum resistance of an anchorage point. ABNT technical standards stipulate that a worker must receive a maximum arresting force of 6kN, or around 600 kgf. When we are dealing with horizontal lifelines the forces acting at the extremities can be multiplied many times, depending on factors such as the stretching of the line and the existence (or not) of an energy absorber in the lifeline. In these situations, the end anchorage must be very well calculated in the function of the acting forces. The DBI/SALA offers portable lifelines for up to two workers, with energy absorber that limits the force applicable to the end anchor to 11.1kN, that is, it gives data to the authorized professional to select the anchor points knowing the maximum applicable load.
Q: Can a worker weighing over 100kg work in heights?
For correctly dealing with the weight capacity of fall protection equipment (harness, lanyard or a lifeline), it is necessary to understand previously the three main basic principles or fundamentals of Fall Protection. They are:
Arresting force: In Brazil, ABNT limits the arresting force to 6kN, around 600kgf. This value is due to the function of the human body limits, of 12kN, with a safety factor of 2. The arresting force is intrinsically linked to the energy absorber of the lanyards or arresting mechanism of the SRLs.
Clearance: is essential for the effectiveness of a fall protection system, and must be informed by the lanyard manufacturer.
Swing Fall. A side impact during a fall can be as severe as a collision with the ground, and can also cut the lifeline or the lanyard, if there is a contact with a sharp edge.
In Brazil, ABNT technical standards controlling the manufacturing of Fall Protection equipment use a rigid mass of 100 kg (220 pounds) to test such equipment, being it a cylinder of steel for lanyards and lifelines, and a mannequin (dorsal area) for full-body harness. It is reasonable to associate the weight used in test laboratories to the equipment capacity. Nevertheless, such association is not correct, because tests in laboratories make the equipment undergo extremely harsh conditions, never to happen in real life situations. Moreover, we must keep in mind that the bodies (cylinder and mannequin) used during the tests do not absorb energy, differently from a human body. Thus, a converting factor between the rigid mass and the human body must be taken into consideration, reaching an understanding that a rigid mass of 100 kg (220 pounds) is equivalent to a superior body mass.
Despite this, many Safety professionals, representing their employers and thinking in the worker protection, look for equipment that are tested and classified for users with bodily mass higher than 100 kg (220 pounds).
In North America, the components of fall systems, such as lanyards and lifelines, are usually classified for users with up to 140.6 kg (310 pounds), with a Fall Factor 2, which is the most severe condition of use. The agencies that control such classification are the OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration, of the Department of Labor), that in Brazil would be the equivalent to the Labor and Employment Ministry, and to the ANSI (American National Standards Institute), that in Brazil would be the equivalent to the ABNT (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas). For situations in which the combined weight of the user and tools are more than 310 pounds (140.6 kg) and up to 420 pounds (190.5 kg), there is equipment classified for such situations, as long as the Fall Factor is 1, or that the free fall be limited to 6 feet (1.83 m).
In Brazil the EPI testing for fall protection are always subjected to the harshest conditions, that is Fall Factor 2. By setting up a correlation between the two tests methodologies it is possible to say that all the equipment from Capital Safety are classified for users of up 140.6 kg in a condition of Fall Factor 2, and that the arresting force will be lower than 6 kN.
Should it be necessary to the use of equipment for a condition in which the combined weight of the user and tools is more than 140.6 kg, please contact Capital Safety Brazil.
Telephone: 0800-775-6600, or
email@example.com. and http://www.animaseg.com.br/2.asp?not=1426
Q: What do Clearance and Fall Factor mean?
Clearance is the distance from the working area to the ground or to the nearest obstruction underneath. The higher the free fall, the higher will be the length of the fall and of the deceleration. It is important to make the free fall as short as possible. The anchor place and the length of the lanyard will affect the free fall. The higher the anchorage point, the lower will be the free fall and the deceleration. In situations where the clearance is between 2 and 3 meters (6 ft 6 inches and 9 ft 10 inches), a conventional lanyard will hardly be effective. Thus, other methods can be used. Rope grabs for lifelines or SRLs can be a good solution, as long as there is an anchorage point above the shoulders. When the circumstances do not allow the use of conventional SRLs, the stationary ones, it can be considered the use of a compact version that is tied to the harness and is used as SRLs.
The fall factor is associated to two variables:
- The lanyard length, and
- The height of the anchorage point
With an anchorage at the same height of the body belt (dorsal or pectoral) D-Ring, the fall factor will be 1, i.e., the free fall of the worker will be equivalent to one lanyard. If the lanyard is longer than 1.8 meter (5 ft 10 inches) in length the free fall length will be 1.8 meter (5 ft 10 inches). The most undesirable situation will be the one where the anchorage is located at the feet of the worker. In this situation the free fall will be equivalent to two lanyards (in our example, 3.6 meters, or 11 ft 9 inches). Only then the energy absorber will act. The safest situation is the one where the fall factor is zero, or close to zero, because there are almost no free falls. Nevertheless, the worker will have more limitations to move around, being impossible, for example to crouch.
Q: How to calculate Clearance?
The calculation of the free space is vital. For example, if the total distance of the fall is greater than the free space, the problem is obvious. It is important, also, to remember to take into consideration, all the obstructions projected under the worker or the equipment on the ground. This will reduce the free span for the worker.
In Brazil, the standards ABNT NBR 14,629:2010 – Energy Absorber – determine that such equipment is incorporated to the lanyards, i.e., permanently attached, and their labels marked the minimum clearance for use. This is informed to the worker through a pictogram. Normally, the clearance is between 5 and 6 meters (16 feet 4 inches and 19 feet 8 inches).
Q: How to inspect the full-body harness?
Before each and every use, check the full-body harness as per the following instructions:
Check the hardware of the full-body harness (buckles, D-rings, dorsal pad, catches). These items must not be damaged, broken, distorted and must avoid sharp edges. They must not have burrs, cleavages, worn parts or corrosion. Parts coated with PVC must not have cuts, rips, burrs, holes, and other damages to the coat to guarantee the non-conductivity. Check if the buckles work properly. Check also quickly-connect buckles, if existent, making sure that they work freely and that a click is heard when the buckle interlocks. Check also the buckle spring.
Check the web. The material must not have worn out, cut or broken webbing. Check to see if there are rips, abrasions, mold, burns or discoloration. Check the seam. Check to see if there are loose or broken stitches. Broken stitches can be an indication that the harness has suffered a load impact and must be removed from operations.
Check the labels. Every label must be present and be totally legible.
Check every component of the system in accordance to the instructions from the manufacturer.
Check the sewn impact indicator. The sewn impact indicator is a part of the web folded over it and fastened with a standard and specific seam holding the folded parts (check with the manufacturer if you have any questions). This standardized seam was projected to be released when the harness avoids a fall or when it is subjected to an equivalent force. If the impact indicator was activated, the harness must the removed from operations and be destroyed.
Please note the date and the results of the inspection in the records of inspection and maintenance.
The full-body harness must be checked by a qualified person once a year at least, besides the user. Record the results of every formal inspection in the records of inspection and maintenance.
If you are using the equipment for the first time, please get in touch with the Client Assistance Service.
IMPORTANT: please see the equipment manual for more details. Check the NR-35 for the adequate procedures.
Q: Can harnesses and lanyards be used again after being subjected to a fall?
If the impact indicator has been activated, the harness or lanyard must be immediately removed from operations and be destroyed.
As per NR-35, the EPI, accessories and anchorage systems that present any defects, degradation, distortions or that have been subjected to a fall must be disabled and discharged, except when its restoration is forecasted by national technical rules or, in the absence of such rules, international rules.
Q: Can equipment with expired CA, but in complete working conditions, be used?
Equipment with an expired CA – Certificate of Approval – cannot be used under any circumstances whatsoever. For more details, please check with the manufacturer.
Q: Is it allowed the use of full-body harness with lifelines or lanyards from different manufacturers?
The use of a full-body harness with lifelines or lanyards from different manufacturers is allowed only if they have been tested and approved a laboratory accredited by the Ministry of Labor and the equipment and manufacturer data are in the same CA – Certificate of Approval.
Q: Which is the minimum force necessary for the lanyard absorber to start functioning?
The minimum force necessary for a lanyard absorber to start functioning will be slightly over its average arresting force.
The maximum force that an absorber can transmit to the user is 6kN. For safety reasons, the Capital Safety sets up its energy absorbers to a maximum force of 4kN.
Q: Which is the minimum force for a lifeline absorber (Zorbit) to start functioning?
Q: When can the worker be considered able to work in heights?
As per the NR-35 Standard, a worker is considered fit and able to work in heights when duly trained and whose health has been assessed, and considered able for such activity and with the formal approval of the company.
The employer must promote programs for the training of workers to perform jobs in heights.
The training program for heights must be structured with initial, periodic and eventual trainings. The initial training must be given before the workers begin their activities in heights; the periodic must be given every two years, and the eventual for the cases foreseen in item 3.3, letters “a”, “b”, “c”, and “d”, of the mentioned rule.
It is considered an able worker for works in heights the one trained and approved during a theoretical and practical training, with a minimum of 8 hours. The programmatic content must include at least the following:
a) Rules and regulations applicable to work in heights
b) Risk analysis and inhibitive conditions
c) Potential risks inherent to the work in heights and prevention and control measures.
d) Systems, equipment and procedures of collective protection
e) Individual protection equipment for work in heights: selection, inspection, maintenance and use limitation.
f) Typical accidents in working in heights
g) Conducts in emergencies, including technical knowledge of rescue and first aid.
The employer must give periodical training (every two years), and always any of the situations below occur:
a) Changes in working procedures, conditions or operations
b) Any event that indicates the need of a new training
c) When returning from a leave of absence from work for a period longer than ninety days
d) Change of company
- The periodic training (every two years) must have a minimum work load of eight hours, according to programmatic content as defined by the employer
- The work load and the programmatic content must attend to the situation that motivated it
- The initial, periodic and eventual training for work in heights can be given together with other trainings in the company
- The capacity building must be given preferably during the normal working hours
- It will be computed as effective work the time used for the capacity building
- The training must be given by qualified instructors in the subject, under the responsibility of a professional qualified in working safety
- At the end of the training a certificate must be issued with the name of the employee, the programmatic content, the working hours, date, place of the training, name and qualification of the instructors and the signature of the responsible person.
- The certificate must be given to the employee with a copy kept in the files of the company
- The capacity building will be registered in the employee’s records.
For more details about capacity building and training in work in high place, please see Tule NR-35, at the link:
Q: What kind of training does Capital Safety offer?
Capital Safety Brazil developed the program Capital Safety Training Partner to establish qualified partners able to give world-class trainings in fall protection. The partners are trained to offer the same quality as those of the company’s training centers in other places of the world.
The main courses offered in Brazil are:
- Competent Person to work in Heights to supervisors of authorized users that want to implement and monitor a program of protection against controlled fall. This course is a program of approval/disapproval. It incorporates a wide training both in classroom and in practice, written and practical tests as required by the American OSHA, standard ANSIZ359.2, the Canadian CSA and the new Brazilian NR-35 Standard.
- Authorized Person to Work in Heights to qualify a worker to work in heights through safety procedures and taking into consideration the requirements of the Labor Ministry, as per NR-35 Standard.
- Competent Person to Work with Industrial Rescue where the students will expand their know-how and capability to use pre-engineering equipment and savage techniques for a safe and efficient rescue.
After a successful conclusion of any one of the courses, the student will receive a certificate acknowledging that he/she comply or exceeded the requirements of CSA, OSHA, ANSI and NR35 as a Competent or Authorized Person to work in heights.