Minnesota workers in construction industries are often at risk of workplace accidents and injuries associated with falls. Due to the danger of elevated work spaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created standards for anchor points that serve as fall arrest systems for workers on the job. Many believe that these rules require each anchor point to support 5,000 pounds per employee attached to the point. However, the actual regulation requires something slightly different.
OSHA’s regulation requires each anchor point to support a capacity of either 5,000 pounds per person attached or twice the amount of force in pounds incurred by a worker in free fall at that location. Many have speculated that 5,000 pounds represents that figure for an average worker, which weighs 220 pounds per OSHA. However, when a worker who weighs 220 pounds uses fall arrest equipment, the force incurred may actually range between 900 and 1,800 pounds.
This means that an anchor point that supports 1,800 to 3,600 pounds could be appropriate. However, the decision to use any anchor point must be carefully calculated as this choice can have a significant impact on worker safety. Insufficient anchor points can lead to catastrophic worker injuries and disabilities.
Employees who work at heights in construction jobs and other dangerous work sites face an ongoing risk of severe workplace injuries and accidents. When employees are injured while doing their jobs, they have a right to workers’ compensation for their medical bills and ongoing costs. A workers’ compensation attorney can work with a client to protect their rights and fight for the compensation they need.