Important components of the Anchor strap
- Strap webbing – that wraps around the anchorage to create a loop that will support the D-ring attachment element
- Loop – is sewn on one end and is designed to support the opposite end of the Anchor strap connector during installation on an anchorage.
- D-ring – is the attachment element to other components and subsystems
- Nylon wear pad – protects the Anchor strap from abrasive edges and surfaces
The purpose of an anchor is to either arrest a fall or prevent a fall. In order to prevent a worker from falling, the anchor must be capable of supporting at least 800 pounds or the equivalent of four times the worker’s weight. In order to arrest a fall, the anchor must be capable of supporting 5,000 pounds. If the potential arrest force is identified, the anchor must be capable of supporting the equivalent of two times the maximum arrest force that will be generated by a falling worker. Manufacturers usually provide arrest values in fall arrest systems but they do not apply for horizontal lifeline systems since the potential forces that may be applied on the system can be much greater than those on personal fall restraint and arrest systems.
Lanyards, anchors and personal shock absorbers
The lanyard is a flexible line of webbing or a synthetic or wire rope that is used to secure a safety belt or a full body safety harness to a lifeline or an anchor. Lanyards must be kept as short as possible to reduce the distance of a fall. In a fall arrest situation, the lanyard must limit free fall to no more than 1.2 meters or 4 feet. If a wire rope lanyard will be used for fall arrest, a personal shock absorber must be incorporated into the personal fall protection system so that the arrest force will be kept on a safe level. Personal shock absorbers slow and cushion falls and reduce the force of stopping a fall. Shock absorbers are often made from tear webbing with specific stitch patterns that will absorb the force of an impact. Since the shock absorber may increase the length of the lanyard during a fall by as much as 1.2 meters, it is important to determine its maximum elongation.
All devices and equipment used in personal fall protection systems must comply with the regulations of OSHA and acceptable for work safety. This will minimize the number of fatalities and serious injuries when working at heights.