19/03/2004

Horizontal lifelines (HLL)

Horizontal lifelines can and do save lives if designed and used correctly, but
an error in just one component of the system or worker behavior can generate a
very serious injury or fatality.

Horizontal lifelines often are the first line of defense at construction sites
and manufacturing facilities. This is true because many times, organizations
have not completed the pre-planning process, putting them in a rush to address
fall protection hazards. Unfortunately, rarely is a HLL system designed by a
Qualified Person, seldom does a trained Competent Person supervise its use, and
often the At-Risk Workers are not adequately trained to pre-plan their
workplace activity and mobility requirements. Horizontal lifelines are complex,
involving mathematical equations such as cantenary and parabolic. The fallen
worker may experience residual effects such as venous pooling, which becomes a
life-threatening factor when rescue methods do not address suspended worker
physiology.

An article in the March issue of Occupational Health & Safety provides an
overview of the issues that should be considered when using Horizontal lifeline
systems. The article gives guidance on the use of HLL systems, including
descriptions of two dangerous scenarios and how they can be avoided.

The authors explain what makes someone a qualified person or competent person
and detail the roles each of these people must play in the design and use of
HLLs. At-risk workers also must be adequately trained before using HLL systems,
the authors note.

"If not, workers may develop a false sense of security using an HLL system and
become careless or stretch the boundaries of its use, thinking that by being
connected they are safe," they explain.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Stevenspublishing