Swing Into Summer, Not a Wall – Avoiding Swing Falls

From our friends at Guardian Fall Protection

Swingfall_V2

Read any instruction manual for a Self-Retracting Lifeline and I’d bet dimes to doughnuts you’ll read about how to calculate Fall Clearance. At least you will in Guardian instruction manuals. Calculating Fall Clearance is a vital part of the proper use of an SRL, because after all, what’s the point of using fall protection if – because of poor equipment choice or practice – you hit the ground anyway? Parallel to calculating Fall Clearance is taking care to avoid potential Swing Falls. Swing Falls happen when an anchor point is not directly above the location of a fall. At the onset of a fall, gravity pulls the worker down, and as the lifeline becomes taut, the worker begins to move in a pendulum motion in a effort to bring the lifeline to a point directly below the anchor. What happens next depends on what is below the anchor. If nothing, the worker goes on a wild ride, spinning and swinging until all the energy of the fall is expended and they find themselves hanging in their harness. If there is a wall or other obstruction, the worker will swing with the combined force generated by gravity and the tension force of the anchor (meaning a greater force than falling alone) into that obstruction. The result is obvious – not good.

Swing Falls Hurt>>

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