ES&H Manual



6131 Appendix T2

Active[1] Fall Protection Systems



1.0            Purpose


Active fall protection systems limit falls to a specified distance as well as the amount of force the worker is subjected to in the event of a fall. They are used when passive protection systems do not provide sufficient protection against fall hazards or cannot be used. This document describes the types, components, and care of active fall protection systems. 


2.0            Scope


The appendix includes the following active fall protection systems commonly used at Jefferson Lab:

·         positioning systems,

·         fall restraint systems, and

·         personal fall arrest systems. 


Each system supports only a single individual and requires some worker manipulation.


This appendix is written in coordination with to ES&H Manual Chapter 6131 Fall Protection Systems.


3.0            Responsibilities

NOTE:           Management authority may be delegated at the discretion of the responsible manager.


3.1              Employees Using Fall Protection

·         Maintain current training (SAF202 Personal Fall Protection).

·         Collect fall protection components from the Material Handling Safety Representative.

·         Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job.

·         Inspect components prior to use, check:

o   For defects and wear;

o   Last inspection date to ensure that it is within one year.

·         Report any defective, suspect, or expired components to your supervisor.

·         Transfer any components that fail inspection, or have arrested a fall, to the Material Handling Safety Representative.

·         If required read and sign the Operational Safety Procedure (OSP) for the job.


3.2              Supervisor/Subcontracting Officer’s Technical Representative (SOTR)/Sponsor

·         Ensure that a Task Hazard Analysis (THA) is completed to determine the proper fall protection system for the job.

·         Provide an OSP for each job as required.

·         Ensure that workers performing elevated work have completed the required training and signed the OSP.

·         Ensure all fall protection components are stored, inspected and approved for use by the Material Handling Safety Representative.

·         Ensure that the proper fall protection system is being used by workers.

·         Ensure that any equipment that fails inspection, or has arrested a fall, is transferred to the Material Handling Safety Representative.


3.3              Material Handling Safety Representative (MHSR)

·         Inspect all protection components in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or annually, whichever is more frequent.

·         Purchase, issue, and approve all employee fall protection components.  Inspected and approved subcontract’s fall protection components prior to use.

·         Maintain inspection records of fall protection components.

·         Dispose of defective or expired fall protection components.

·         Ensure department storage is appropriate and well maintained.

·         Establish and maintain a training program recognizing and minimizing fall hazards that includes:

o   The nature of fall hazards in the work area

o   Proper use of active and passive fall protection systems

o   Limitations of each type of system

o   Correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting fall protection systems

o   Proper storage of components

o   A fall rescue plan

o   Maintenance of employee certification records


4.0            Types of Active Fall Protection Systems


4.1              Positioning Systems


Positioning systems restrain elevated workers and prevent them from getting into hazardous positions where falls can occur. Positioning systems also have the added advantage of allowing the worker to work with both hands. Full body harness systems are used in positioning systems.


4.2              Fall Restraint Systems


Fall restraint systems eliminate fall hazards by keeping the worker within the passive restraint area. The worker wears a full body harness attached to an anchor(s) point by a lanyard/lifeline to prevent the worker from falling.         


4.3              Personal Fall Arrest Systems


Personal fall arrest systems are used when a worker is at risk of falling from an elevated (4-feet+) position. They stop a fall in progress and protect falling workers by distributing the force of impact throughout the trunk of the body. Personal fall arrest systems are capable of supporting a minimum of 5,000 pounds. The components of an active fall protection system are the body harness and connecting device, which are reviewed by the Material Handling Safety Representative (MHSR) for condition and suitability.


5.0            Component of Active Fall Protection Systems


5.1              Anchor Points


An anchor point is the position on a structure, independent of any anchorage used to support or suspend a work platform, to which a lanyard is securely attached. Anchor points have very specific criteria. A Task Hazard Analysis determines if an anchor point is needed. Installation of anchor points is considered a facility modification (see ES&H Manual Chapter 3110 Facility Design and Modification Review).


5.2              Body Harness


Straps that are secured about the worker in a manner that distributes the fall arrest forces over the upper body; with means for attachment to other components of a personal fall arrest system. See the MHSR for fit.


5.3              Connecting Device


A connecting device attaches the body harness to an anchor point or lifeline. A connecting device (e.g.: lanyard) with a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.  Lanyards used in fall arrest, fall restraint, and positioning systems may have a shock-absorbing feature built in to reduce the force of an arrested fall.



6.0            Inspection, Care, and Maintenance


6.1              Inspections


Fall protection components are inspected by workers prior to and after use and annual by the MHSR. Any component showing evidence of an unacceptable condition, has expired, or is defective components is immediately transferred to the MHSR.


6.1.1        Pre-Use Inspection


Perform both visual and physical review. Unacceptable conditions include, but or not limited to:

·         Cuts, tears, broken or pulled stitching, frayed fibers, abrasion, chemical, heat damage, or other deterioration

·         Mold,

·         Alterations or additions that might affect efficiency,

·         Distorted, corroded, or damaged snaphooks, buckles, or D-rings,

·         Wear, and

·         Improper fit.


6.1.2        Post-Use Inspection


Perform both visual and physical review. Unacceptable conditions include, but are not limited to:

·         Cuts, tears, frayed fibers, abrasion, chemical, or heat damage,

·         Fall arrest or stretching, and

·         Distorted, corroded, or damaged snaphooks, buckles, or D-rings,


6.2              Care and Maintenance


All active fall protection components are stored in isolated areas, such as lockers or closets, where they are not subject to moisture or sunlight. The MHSR initially approves and annually inspects storage areas to ensure they are appropriate and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.


7.0            Revision Summary


Revision 1.3 – 03/18/15 – Technical POC updated from B.Manzlak to G.Perry per B. Rainey

Revision 1.2 – 10/27/14 – Technical POC updated from N.Walker to current SME B.Manzlak

Revision 1.1 – 12/04/12 – Qualifying periodic review; No substantive changes required

Revision 1.0 – 12/23/09 – Content updated to reflect current laboratory operations.











ESH&Q Division

George Perry





This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 3/19/2015.


[1] Fall protection systems that require the worker to take action.