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Newfoundland and Labrador Fall Protection
This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose.
Copyright © 2009: Queen's Printer, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2009
Occupational Health and Safety Act
138. In this Part
(a) "anchorage point" means a secure point of attachment for a lifeline or lanyard;
(b) "arborist" means a worker trained and employed, in whole or in part, to climb trees for an economic or scientific purpose, including
(i) detection and treatment of disease, infections or infestations,
(ii) pruning, spraying or trimming,
(iii) repairing damaged trees,
(iv) assessing growth or harvesting potential, or
(v) scientific research;
(c) "body belt" means a belt worn by a worker as a means of fall restraint;
(d) "debris net" means a net that is used to catch material and debris that can drop from work areas;
(e) "fall arrest system" means a system of physical components attached to a worker that stops a worker during a fall;
(f) "full body harness" means a harness consisting of leg and shoulder straps and an upper back suspension unit that distributes and reduces the impact force of a fall;
(g) "guardrail" means a system of vertical and horizontal members that warns of a fall hazard and reduces the risk of a fall;
(h) "lanyard" means a flexible line used to secure a worker to a lifeline, a static line or a fixed anchor point;
(i) "lifeline" means a vertical line attached to a fixed anchor point or a static line and to which a lanyard and a ropegrab may be attached;
(j) "means of fall protection" means a fall protection system and includes a harness, net, rope, body belt, structure or other equipment or device or means of
(i) restraining a worker who is at risk of falling, or
(ii) stopping a worker who has fallen;
(k) "personnel safety net" means a net that is used to catch a worker during a fall;
(l) "ropegrab" means a mechanical fall-arrest device that
(i) is attached to a lifeline and a lanyard, and
(ii) locks itself immediately on the lifeline in the event of a fall;
(m) "safe surface" means a surface at a workplace that
(i) has sufficient size and strength to adequately support a worker who falls on to the surface, and
(ii) is sufficiently horizontal to prevent a further fall from the surface by a worker who has fallen on to the surface;
(n) "softener" means padding or hoses that are used with a lifeline or static line to prevent a rope from being cut or chafed; and
(o) "static line" or "horizontal life line" means a rope
(i) that is attached horizontally to 2 or more fixed anchor points, and
(ii) to which a fall arrest system is attached.
139. A worker shall not use fall protection equipment after January 1, 2012 unless he or she has completed a training program on fall protection prescribed by the commission.
Fall protection systems
140. Where an employer determines it is impractical to provide adequate work platforms or staging, the employer shall ensure that fall protection systems are used by all workers who are exposed to the hazard of falling, as required in section 141.
141. Where a worker is exposed to the hazard of falling from a work area that is
(a) 3 metres or more above the nearest safe surface or water;
(b) above a surface or thing that could cause injury to the worker if the worker were to fall on the surface or thing; or
(c) above an open tank, pit or vat containing hazardous material,
the employer shall ensure that
(d) the worker is provided with a fall arrest system that meets the requirements of section 142;
(e) a guardrail that meets the requirements of section 28 is constructed or installed at the work area;
(f) a personnel safety net that meets the requirements of section 143 is installed at the work area;
(g) temporary flooring that meets the requirements of section 146 is constructed or installed at the work area; or
(h) the worker is provided with another means of fall protection that provides a level of safety equal to or greater than a fall arrest system that meets the requirements of section 142.
Fall arrest system
142. (1) A fall arrest system that is provided in accordance with section 141 shall
(a) be adequately secured to
(i) an anchorage point, or
(ii) a lifeline that is
(A) securely fastened to anchor points, or
(B) attached to a static line that is securely fastened to anchorage points and that is capable of withstanding either the maximum load likely to be imposed on the anchorage point or a load of 22.2 kilonewtons, whichever is the greater;
(b) include a lanyard
(i) that is attached to an anchorage point or lifeline, where practicable, above the shoulder of the worker, and
(ii) that complies with CSA Standard Z259.11 "Energy Absorbers and Lanyards";
(c) prevent a free fall greater than 1.22 metres where
(i) the fall arrest system is not equipped with a shock absorption system that complies with CSA Standard Z259.11 "Energy Absorbers and Lanyards" and that reduces the shock level of a fall to less than 4 kilonewtons, or
(ii) the combined free fall and shock absorbed deceleration distance exceeds the distance between the work area and a safe surface; and
(d) include a full body harness that
(i) is attached to a lanyard,
(ii) is adjusted to fit the user of the harness, and
(iii) complies with CSA Standard Z259.10 "Full Body Harnesses".
(2) Where a fall arrest system includes a lifeline, the lifeline shall
(a) comply with CSA Standard Z259.2.1 "Fall Arresters, Vertical Lifelines and Rails";
(b) extend to a safe surface below the work area and be securely attached to an anchorage point;
(c) be secured at the bottom of the lifeline to prevent tangling or disturbance of the line and be free of knots, lubricants and imperfections;
(d) be free of splices, except where they are necessary to connect the lifeline to an anchorage point;
(e) be provided with softeners at all sharp edges or corners to protect against cuts or chafing; and
(f) be clearly identified as a lifeline by colour or by another means that provides an equivalent level of safety.
(3) No worker shall
(a) use a lifeline in a fall arrest system while that fall arrest system is being used by another worker; or
(b) provide a rope for use, or permit a rope to be used, as a lifeline in a fall arrest system where the rope has been used for another purpose.
(4) Where a fall arrest system provided to a worker includes a ropegrab, the rope grab used shall comply with CSA Standard Z259.2.1 "Fall Arresters, Vertical Lifelines and Rails".
(5) An employer who provides a worker with a fall arrest system shall ensure the fall arrest system is inspected by a qualified person before each work shift undertaken by the worker.
(6) A qualified person who carries out an inspection of a fall arrest system shall advise the employer where a component of the system is defective in condition or function and the employer shall ensure that the system is not used until the defective component is replaced or repaired.
(7) Where a fall arrest system has arrested the fall of a worker at a work area, the employer shall ensure that the fall arrest system
(a) is removed from service and inspected by a qualified person; and
(b) is repaired, before it is reused, to the original manufacturer's specifications, where an inspection under paragraph (a) reveals that a component of the system is defective.
(8) Where a fall arrest system includes a static line, the static line shall
(a) have a nominal diameter of at least 12.7 millimetres and be made of improved plow wire rope;
(b) be equipped with vertical supports at least every 9 metres and have a maximum deflection, when taut, of no greater than 381 millimetres for a 9 metre span;
(c) be equipped with turnbuckles or other comparable tightening devices that provide an equivalent level of protection, at the ends of the static line;
(d) be equipped with softeners at all sharp edges or corners to protect against cuts or chafing;
(e) be made only of components that are able to withstand either the maximum load likely to be imposed on the components or a load of 8 kilonewtons, whichever is the greater; and
(f) comply with CSA Standard Z259.13 "Flexible Horizontal Lifeline Systems" and CSA Standard Z259.16 "Design of Active Fall Protection Systems".
(9) Where a fall arrest system is provided to an arborist, the fall arrest system shall
(a) include a tree climbing or tree trimming harness or saddle;
(b) be adequately secured to
(i) an anchorage point, or
(ii) a lifeline that is
(A) securely fastened to anchorage points, or
(B) attached to a static line that is securely fastened to anchorage points;
(c) include a climbing rope or safety strap;
(d) where practicable, include a second climbing rope or safety strap that
(i) provides additional stability, and
(ii) back-up fall protection; and
(e) be capable of withstanding either the maximum load likely to be imposed or a load of 22.2 kilonewtons, whichever is the greater.
(10) Where an employer uses a fall arrest system or a personnel safety net as a means of fall protection, the employer shall have a written fall protection plan that specifies
(a) the procedure to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the fall arrest system or personnel safety net; and
(b) the procedure for the rescue of a worker who has fallen and is suspended by the fall arrest system or personnel safety net, but is unable to effect self-rescue.
143. (1) Where a personnel safety net is installed in accordance with section 141, an employer shall ensure that it
(a) is installed
(i) not more than 4.6 metres below the work area,
(ii) to ensure that no obstructions or intervening members may be struck by a worker during a fall between the work area and the personnel safety net, and
(iii) maintained so that the maximum deflection when arresting the fall of a worker does not allow a part of the worker to contact another surface;
(b) extends 2.4 metres on all sides beyond the work area; and
(c) where connected to another personnel safety net, the splice joints connecting it with the other personnel safety nets are equal to, or greater in strength than, the strength of the weakest of the personnel safety nets.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), an employer shall ensure that a personnel safety net is manufactured, used, maintained, inspected and stored in accordance with ANSI Standard A10.11-1989 "Safety Nets Used During Construction, Repair and Demolition Operations".
144. (1) Where a worker having access to an area below an elevated work area is exposed to the hazard of falling objects or debris from the work area, an employer shall ensure that
(a) a debris net is installed below the work area in accordance with subsection (2); or
(b) other means of protection are provided that provide an equivalent level of protection from falling objects and debris.
(2) An employer shall ensure that a debris net under subsection (1) is
(a) manufactured, used, maintained, inspected and stored in accordance with ANSI Standard A10.11-1989 "Safety Nets Used during Construction, Repair and Demolition Operations"; and
(b) installed not more than 4.6 metres below the elevated work area.
145. An employer shall ensure that a body belt provided in accordance with section 141 complies with CSA Standard Z259 "Body Belts and Saddles for Work Positioning and Travel Restraint".
146. Temporary flooring that is constructed or installed in accordance with section 141 shall
(a) be constructed or installed at each floor level of the work area where work is in progress;
(b) extend over the whole work area except for openings necessary for the carrying out of work;
(c) be able to withstand 4 times the maximum load likely to be imposed on it; and
(d) be securely fastened to and supported on members that are able to withstand 4 times the maximum load likely to be imposed on them.
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