Explore the use of a horizontal lifeline used when traditional anchor points are not available.

The use of acceptable anchor points as part of a fall arrest or fall restraint system is an important consideration and only approved anchor points that withstand 5,000 pounds of force are acceptable. However, what do you do when there are no suitable anchor points, or anchor points needed by more than one person, or anchor points needed across a significant length of space? In all of these instances, horizontal lifelines are the answer!

The Details on Horizontal Lifelines

Horizontal lifelines consist of a wire rope cable or a rigid steel track that is mounted at both ends. This creates a vertical line that workers can use as a tie-off, allowing more than one worker to use the lifeline as an anchor point and allowing workers to be mobile and move along the cable or track while remaining tied-off. Lifelines can be mounted to a variety of surfaces such as a rooftop, a wall, or an overhead, and there are even non-penetrating lifeline systems that don’t mark the surface it’s mounted to.

Lifelines are more complicated than configuring a stationary anchor point using a beam clamp. They must be configured and installed by a qualified person. This is because each configuration of a horizontal lifeline will be unique and suited to the job and surrounding structures and features. The qualified person must consider factors such as fall clearance, mounting options, the length of the system, and the number of workers that can use the system at one time, among other things. Lifelines can be installed, taken down, and used again, making them a versatile fall protection option.

Horizontal lifelines must also be inspected by a Competent Person at least once a year, as recommended by ANSI. However, workers can be trained to inspect the system before every use, how to maintain the lifeline system, and how to properly use the system. Like all fall protection equipment, a horizontal lifeline should be inspected for flaws or damage before every use and any questionable component should take the entire system out of use until it is repaired or replaced.

Safe Keeper offers a four-person temporary rope anchorage line complete with all of the components necessary to install and use the horizontal lifeline. We also sell a complete inventory of fall protection products and accessories, such as harnesses, lanyards, and self-retracting lines.