A horizontal lifeline consists of a synthetic or wire rope rigged between two substantial anchors. These lifeline systems allow a worker to move horizontally while safely secured to a fall arrest system. Synthetic rope horizontal lifeline should be considered temporary because they are usually subject to deterioration resulting from use, exposure to the elements, and exposure to other potentially damaging hazards. Wire rope horizontal lifeline may be either temporary or permanent.
Rigid rail horizontal fall protection systems are almost always permanent
A vital aspect of the safe use of horizontal lifeline systems is that they be installed properly. Alberta OHS requires that before the horizontal lifeline system is used, it is certified in writing as having been properly installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications or the certified specifications of a professional engineer.
This certification of the installation can be performed by a professional engineer, a competent person authorized by the professional engineer, the manufacturer, or a competent person authorized by the manufacturer.
This competent person could be one of the employer’s workers, trained and authorized by the lifeline manufacturer to certify the installation. Often overlooked by employers and installers of horizontal lifeline systems is whether or not there is sufficient clearance below the installed system.
If there is any doubt, employers should contact the equipment manufacturer or involve a professional engineer who can assess the available clearance in accordance with the requirements of CSA Standard Z259.16.
See OHS Code Explanation Guide 2009 for more information as well as ensure that you are following the most up to date OHS Code, Regs, and Act.