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Learn about Fall Protection Positioning Devices

The following safety huddle represents OSHA's safety compliance regulations for positioning device systems 1926.502(e). Always consult directly with OSHA compliance standards and manufacturer recommendations before utilizing these systems. Positioning device systems are not fall arrest systems, but they are personal safety devices that can be used to prevent an employee from falling. They are an invaluable tool for fall protection but employers and managers must understand how to use them properly.

  • Positioning device systems and their use shall conform to the following:
    • Shall be rigged such that an employee cannot free fall more than 2 feet.
    • anchor points for these systems must be capable of supporting twice the potential impact load of an employee's fall or 3,000 pounds, whichever is greater.
    • All connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent materials.
    • Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces shall be smooth.
    • Connecting assemblies shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds.
    • Dee-rings and snaphooks shall be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.
    • Snaphooks shall be sized to be compatible with the member to which they are connected, or shall be a locking type designed and used to prevent disengagement.
      • As of January 1, 1998, only locking type snaphooks shall be used.
    • Unless the snaphook is a locking type and designed for the following connections, snaphooks shall not be engaged:
      • directly to webbing, rope or wire rope
      • to each other
      • to a Dee-ring to which another snaphook or other connector is attached
      • to a horizontal lifeline
      • to any object which is incompatibly shaped
    • Shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage, and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.
    • Body belts, harnesses, and components shall be used only for employee protection (as part of a fall arrest system or positioning device system) and not to hoist materials.

Editor's Note:

Examples of Positioning Device Products:

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This post contributed by:

Dan Deluca

Heroic Safety Solutions

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Heroic Safety Solutions is a safety consulting firm dedicated to the optimization of workplace safety by providing clients with quality, personalized and affordable on-site safety trainings and consulting services. Founded in Akron, Ohio by professional firefighter Daniel DeLuca, Heroic strives to be a leader in workplace safety consulting. All of Heroics safety trainers have spent their careers in firefighting, emergency medical services, and law enforcement acquiring valuable experience and education in the fields of safety training, hazard recognition and abatement. Safety in your workplace is our first priority. We specialize in OSHA Outreach Trainings, Construction Safety, Industrial Safety, Hazardous Materials, Emergency Planning & Consulting, and Drug-Free Workplace Trainings & Consultations

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