Clarifying the OSHA anchor point rule

When conducting an OSHA fall safety test, the fall must take place from at least 6 feet in the air. Furthermore, the test must be conducted at a weight of 220 pounds give or take three pounds. For a Pennsylvania company to pass a fall arrest system test, it must pass by a factor of two. The test fails if forces greater than 2,520 pounds are recorded.

A quick glance at these guidelines suggests that companies should aim to create anchor point systems that can withstand up to 5,040 pounds of force. This is double the maximum amount of force that can be generated and still satisfy OSHA requirements. However, in some cases, a person weighing 220 pounds is not going to generate 2,520 pounds of force. Instead, he or she may generate 900 to 1,800 pounds of force, which means an anchor point would only need to withstand 1,800 to 3,600 pounds of force.

The ultimate takeaway is that companies may have adequate anchor point systems in place despite not meeting the 5,000-pound threshold. Examples of such anchor points may be a fixed ladder or a roof truss. The reason why workers may not generate maximum levels of force is that fall arrest systems may work to slow their falls.

Individuals who sustain a temporary or permanent disability after a workplace accident may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are typically available regardless of whether someone was at fault for his or her accident. Those who are permanently disabled may receive benefits on a long-term or permanent basis. An attorney may be able to help those who are attempting to apply for benefits for the first time or have had their initial application denied for any reason.