Aerial Lifts and Fall Protection

OSHA has rescinded the January 2009 Letter of Interpretation regarding fall protection lanyards when working in aerial lifts. The following is an excerpt of the decision (click on the following hyperlink for more details OSHA):

“On January 14, 2009, OSHA issued a letter of interpretation regarding the use of a particular shock absorbing lanyard to satisfy the requirements found in §1926.453(b)(2)(v). The Directorate of Construction has received inquires from regional offices, area offices, and the public asking if the January 2009 letter banned the lanyard in question.

OSHA did not ban the particular lanyard but stated, based on the manufacturer’s instructions, which stipulated a minimum anchor point height of 18.5 feet, that it was likely that the lanyard’s use would not comply with OSHA standards at lower heights.

In such cases, use of the lanyard below 18.5 feet would apparently not provide adequate fall protection. This determination has raised questions about the use of body harnesses, typically married with appropriate lanyards, for fall protection in aerial lifts. To help avoid any confusion on the issue, DOC is rescinding the January 2009 letter, #20070823-7896.”

Check out full content at http://www.osha.gov/doc/interpretations/I20110822.html

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