B.C. Reg. 296/97
Deposited September 8, 1997
Workers Compensation Act
[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 234/2002]
|This archived regulation consolidation is current to April 4, 2003 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date. For the most current information, click here.|
Part 11 — Fall Protection
| RETURNTO GENERAL TABLE OF CONTENTS |
11.1 In this Part:
"anchor" means a secure point of attachment for a lifeline or lanyard;
"carabiner" means a link with a gate that is normally closed or that automatically closes, and is used to connect components of a personal fall protection system;
"control zone" means the area between an unguarded edge of a building or structure and a line which is set back a safe distance;
"fall arrest system" means a system that will stop a worker's fall before the worker hits the surface below;
"fall protection system" means any of the following when used to protect a worker from a fall or minimize the risk from falling:
(b) a safety belt or full body harness with a lanyard and/or lifeline and an anchor, and their related equipment;
(c) a safety net;
(d) a control zone;
(e) a safety monitor with a control zone;
(f) other procedures acceptable to the board;
"fall restraint system" means a work positioning system to prevent a worker from falling from a work position, or a travel restriction system such as guardrails or a personal fall protection system to prevent a worker from travelling to an edge from which the worker could fall;
"free fall distance" means the distance from the point where the worker would begin to fall to the point where the fall arrest system would begin to cause deceleration of the fall;
"full body harness" means a body support device consisting of connected straps designed to distribute a fall arresting force over at least the thigh, shoulders and pelvis, with provision for attaching a lanyard, lifeline or other components;
"horizontal lifeline system" means a system composed of a synthetic or wire rope, installed horizontally between 2 anchors, to which a worker attaches a personal fall protection system;
"lanyard" means a flexible line of webbing, or synthetic or wire rope, that is used to secure a safety belt or full body harness to a lifeline or anchor;
"lifeline" means a synthetic or wire rope, rigged from one or more anchors, to which a worker's lanyard or other part of a personal fall protection system is attached;
"personal fall protection system" means an individual worker's fall protection system, composed of a safety belt or full body harness, and lanyard, lifeline, and any other connecting equipment, that is used to secure the worker to an individual anchor or to a horizontal lifeline system;
"safety belt" means a body support device consisting of a strap with a means for securing it about the waist and attaching it to other components;
"safety monitor system" means a system in which a trained worker is designated to monitor work activities in a control zone to ensure that work is done in a manner that minimizes the potential for a worker to fall;
"safety strap" means a pole strap or similar support strap, used with a work positioning suspension belt, for climbing trees or structures such as utility poles;
"shock absorber" means a device intended to limit deceleration of a worker during fall arrest;
"swing-fall hazard" means the hazard to a worker of swinging and colliding with an obstruction following a fall when connected to a lanyard or lifeline that runs at an angle off vertical;
"total fall distance" means the distance from the point where the worker would begin to fall to the point where the fall would be stopped;
"unusual risk of injury" means, with respect to the risk of injury from a fall, there is a risk of injury greater than the risk of injury from impact on a flat surface; for example, from a fall onto operating machinery or into a tank of chemical.
11.2 (1) Unless elsewhere provided for in this Regulation, an employer must ensure that a fall protection system is used when work is being done at a place
(a) from which a fall of 3 m (10 ft) or more may occur, or
(b) where a fall from a lesser height involves an unusual risk of injury.
(2) The employer must ensure that guardrails meeting the requirements of Part 4 (General Conditions) or other similar means of fall restraint are used when practicable.
(3) If the use of guardrails or similar means of fall restraint is not practicable, the employer must ensure that another fall restraint system is used.
(4) If the use of a fall restraint system is not practicable, the employer must ensure that a fall arrest system is used.
(5) If the use of a fall arrest system is not practicable or will result in a hazard greater than if the system was not used, the employer must ensure that
(a) a control zone is used in accordance with this Part,
(b) a safety monitor system with a control zone is used in accordance with this Part, or
(c) other procedures acceptable to the board are followed.
11.3 (1) The employer must have a written fall protection plan for a workplace if
(a) work is being done at a location where workers are not protected by permanent guardrails, and from which a fall of 7.5 m (25 ft) or more may occur,
(b) the employer uses a safety monitor and control zone or other work procedures as the means of fall protection, or
(c) the board so directs, because a fall may involve an unusual risk of injury.
(2) The fall protection plan must be available at the workplace before work with a risk of falling begins.
(3) The plan must specify
(a) the fall hazards expected in each work area,
(b) the fall protection system or systems to be used in each area,
(c) the procedures to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the fall protection system or systems, and
(d) the procedures for rescue of a worker who has fallen and is suspended by a personal fall protection system or safety net, but is unable to effect self rescue.
11.4 Before a worker is allowed into an area where a risk of falling exists, the employer must ensure the worker is instructed in the fall protection system for the area and the procedures to be followed.
11.5 (1) If a guardrail must be removed to accommodate work,
(a) only that portion of the guardrail necessary to allow the work to be done may be removed, and
(b) workers exposed to a fall hazard must be protected by another fall protection system when the guardrail is absent.
(2) The guardrail must be replaced
(a) when the unguarded area is left unattended, and
(b) after the work is completed if the circumstances still require guardrails.
Harnesses and Safety Belts
11.6 (1) A worker must wear a full body harness or other harness acceptable to the board when using a personal fall protection system for fall arrest.
(2) A worker must wear a safety belt, a full body harness or other harness acceptable to the board when using a personal fall protection system for fall restraint.
11.7 (1) A full body harness must meet the requirements of CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z259.10-M90, Full Body Harnesses, or other standard acceptable to the board.
(2) A safety belt must meet the requirements of CSA Standard Z259.1-95, Safety Belts and Lanyards or other standard, appropriate to the type of belt involved, that is acceptable to the board.
11.8 (1) A lanyard must meet the requirements of CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z259.1-95, Safety Belts and Lanyards or other standard acceptable to the board.
(2) When a tool is used that could sever, abrade or burn a lanyard or safety strap, the lanyard or safety strap must be made of wire rope.
(3) A worker working near an energized conductor or in another work area where a conductive lanyard or safety strap cannot be safely used is exempt from subsection (2) provided that two nonconductive lanyards or safety straps are used, or other effective means of fall protection is used.
11.9 A snap hook on a lanyard or lifeline must be self-locking.
11.10 (1) A shock absorber must be used with
(a) a lanyard made of wire rope or other inelastic material in a fall arrest system, and
(b) a wire rope vertical lifeline unless the lifeline is part of a ladder safety device.
(2) A shock absorber in a personal fall protection system must meet the requirements of CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z259.11-M92, Shock Absorbers for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, or other standard acceptable to the board.
(3) When a shock absorber is used in a fall arrest system, allowance must be made for the potential increase in the total fall distance.
11.11 (1) When in use, a carabiner or similar connecting hardware must be secured to prevent inadvertent opening.
(2) Carabiners, links and rings must
(a) have an ultimate load capacity of at least 22 kN (5 000 lbs), and
(b) be clearly marked with their load capacity, and with a means of identifying the manufacturer.
11.12 (1) A descent device, harness, safety strap, rope grab, shepherd's hook, connecting hardware, shock absorber and other fall protection equipment used as part of a fall protection system and not covered by one of the standards referenced in this Part must be of a type acceptable to the board.
(2) A Prusik sling may be used in place of a rope grab only if it is used in a manner acceptable to the board.
(3) A triple sliding hitch must not be used as part of a personal fall protection system.
11.13 (1) A lifeline, or a lanyard used without a lifeline, must be secured to an anchor.
(2) An anchor plate with multiple attachment points designed to support combinations of suspension lines, tie-back lines and lifelines must be certified in writing by a professional engineer.
(3) A temporary anchor must be removed upon completion of the work for which it was intended.
11.14 (1) In a fall restraint system, a temporary anchor for a vertical lifeline, or for a lanyard used without a lifeline, must have an ultimate load capacity of at least 3.5 kN (800 lbs) in any direction in which a load may be applied.
(2) In a fall restraint system, a permanent anchor for a vertical lifeline or for a lanyard used without a lifeline must meet the requirements for a fall arrest anchor in section 11.15.
11.15 In a fall arrest system, an anchor for a vertical lifeline or for a lanyard used without a lifeline must
(a) have an ultimate load capacity of at least 22 kN (5 000 lbs), in any direction required to resist a fall, and,
(b) if permanent, be certified in writing by a professional engineer as having the required load capacity.
11.16 A vertical lifeline must meet the requirements of CSA Standard Z259.2-M1979, Fall Arresting Devices, Personnel Lowering Devices, and Lifelines, or other standard acceptable to the board.
11.17 A vertical lifeline must have a breaking strength specified by the manufacturer of at least 27 kN (6 000 lbs).
11.18 (1) A vertical lifeline must be free of knots or splices except at its termination.
(2) A termination knot or splice must not reduce the breaking strength of the lifeline to less than 22 kN (5 000 lbs).
11.19 A wire rope vertical lifeline must not be used if there is potential for contact with energized electrical conductors.
11.20 (1) A vertical lifeline must be effectively protected at points of attachment and elsewhere, as necessary, to prevent chafing or abrasion caused by contact with sharp or rough edges.
(2) When a tool is used that could sever, abrade or burn a lifeline, the lifeline must be made of wire rope.
(3) A worker working near an energized electrical conductor or in another work area where a conductive lifeline cannot be safely used is exempt from subsection (2) provided that another effective means of fall protection is used.
11.21 (1) A vertical lifeline must extend to within 1.2 m (4 ft) of ground level or other safe lower surface.
(2) The suspended length of a vertical lifeline must not exceed 91 m (300 ft), unless previously authorized by the board.
11.22 (1) A personal fall arrest system without a shock absorber must limit the free fall of a worker to 1.2 m (4 ft).
(2) A personal fall arrest system with a shock absorber may allow a free fall of up to 2 m (6.5 ft), or the limit specified in the manufacturer's instructions, whichever is less.
11.23 A vertical lifeline must be installed and used in a manner that minimizes the swing-fall hazard.
11.24 Each vertical lifeline used for fall arrest must be secured to an independent point of anchorage.
11.25 Only one worker may be attached to a vertical lifeline, unless the vertical lifeline is part of a ladder safety device.
11.26 A lifeline used as part of a ladder safety device must meet the requirements of ANSI Standard A14.3-1984 For Ladders-Fixed-Safety Requirements, or other standard acceptable to the board.
11.27 A double line system, where the lifeline and equipment suspension line are rigged through a common control descent device, must not be used unless the system and procedures for its use are acceptable to the board.
Horizontal Lifeline Systems
11.28 A temporary horizontal lifeline system for fall restraint must provide an ultimate load capacity of at least 3.5 kN (800 lbs) for each worker connected to it.
11.29 (1) Unless permitted by subsection (2), a temporary horizontal lifeline system used for fall arrest must meet the following requirements:
(a) the horizontal lifeline must be a minimum 12 mm (1/2 in) diameter wire rope having a breaking strength specified by the manufacturer of at least 89 kN (20 000 lbs);
(b) the horizontal lifeline must be free of splices except at the terminations;
(c) connecting hardware such as shackles and turnbuckles must have an ultimate load capacity of at least 71 kN (16 000 lbs);
(d) the span must be at least 6 m (20 ft) and not more than 18 m (60 ft);
(e) end anchors must have an ultimate load capacity of at least 71 kN (16 000 lbs);
(f) the horizontal lifeline must have an unloaded sag of approximately the span length divided by 60;
(g) the elevation of the line at any point must be at least 1 m (39 in) above the working surface;
(h) the free fall distance must be limited to 1.2 m (4 ft);
(i) a minimum of 3.5 m (12 ft) of unobstructed clearance must be available below the working surface;
(j) no more than 3 workers may be secured to the horizontal lifeline;
(k) the horizontal lifeline must be positioned so it does not impede the safe movement of workers.
(2) A temporary horizontal lifeline system may be used if the system
(a) is manufactured for commercial distribution, is of a design acceptable to the board, and is installed and used in accordance with the written instructions and drawings from the manufacturer or authorized agent, which are readily available in the workplace, or
(b) is installed and used in accordance with written instructions and drawings certified by a professional engineer, which are readily available in the workplace.
[en. B.C. Reg. 253/2001, s. 7.]
11.30 (1) Before a permanent horizontal lifeline system is used the employer must ensure that a professional engineer supplies to the workplace drawings and instructions for the lifeline system unless the system is manufactured for commercial distribution and is of a design acceptable to the board, in which case the manufacturer or authorized agent may provide the drawings and instructions.
(2) The drawings and instructions required by subsection (1) must show
(a) the layout in plan and elevation, including anchor locations, installation specifications, anchor design and detailing,
(b) horizontal lifeline system specifications, including permissible free fall distance, clearance to obstructions below, and rope size, breaking strength, termination details, initial sag or tension, and
(c) the number of workers permitted to connect to the lifeline, and maximum arrest force to each worker.
(3) Before a permanent horizontal lifeline system is used, there must be written certification by a professional engineer, the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s authorized agent that the system was installed in accordance with the drawings and instructions required by subsection (1).
[en. B.C. Reg. 253/2001, s. 7.]
Inspection and Maintenance
11.31 Safety belts, harnesses, lanyards, lifelines, connecting hardware, anchors and other similar devices must be
(a) inspected by a qualified person before use on each workshift,
(b) kept free from substances and conditions that could contribute to their deterioration, and
(c) maintained in good working order.
11.32 (1) A device or part that is defective in condition or function must be removed from service.
(2) After a fall protection system has arrested the fall of a worker, it must
(a) be removed from service, and
(b) not be returned to service until it has been inspected and recertified as safe for use by the manufacturer or its authorized agent, or by a professional engineer.
11.33 A safety net must be designed, installed, tested and inspected in accordance with the requirements of ANSI Standard A10.11-1989, for Construction and Demolition Operations-Personnel and Debris Nets, or other standard acceptable to the board.
11.34 The employer must ensure that the supporting structure to which a personnel safety net is attached is certified in writing by a professional engineer as being capable of withstanding any load the net is likely to impose on the structure.
11.35 Sections 11.33 and 11.34 do not apply to rescue nets used by firefighters.
Control Zones and Procedures
11.36 Use of a control zone is not permitted as the fall protection system
(a) on a working surface where the slope of that surface exceeds 4 vertical in 12 horizontal,
(b) on skeletal structure work, or
(c) for scaffold erection and removal.
11.37 (1) The width of a control zone must be at least 2 m (6.5 ft).
(2) Additional distance must be added to the minimum width of a control zone, with regard to whether
(a) the working surface is slippery or sloped,
(b) the work is carried out at an elevation relative to the unguarded edge, and
(c) the risk is increased by the use of equipment near the control zone.
11.38 If workers will at all times remain further from the unguarded edge than the width of the control zone, no other fall protection system need be used.
11.39 (1) If a worker will be working within 2 m (6.5 ft) of the control zone, the line defining the control zone must be established by a raised warning line or other equally effective means at all times during such work.
(2) A raised warning line marking the edge of a control zone must be
(a) a line of high visibility material, or a line flagged or clearly marked with high visibility materials at intervals not exceeding 2 m (6.5 ft), and
(b) rigged and maintained to be between 0.85 m and 1.15 m (34 in and 45 in) above the working surface.
11.40 (1) If permitted by section 11.2, a safety monitor system with a control zone may be used as the means of fall protection for workers in the control zone.
(2) The safety monitor must ensure that the work activity in the control zone is performed in accordance with the fall protection plan and in a manner that minimizes the potential for a worker to fall.
(3) A safety monitor must
(a) be experienced in the work overseen and trained in the role of safety monitor,
(b) be present at all times when a worker is in the control zone,
(c) have complete authority over the work as it relates to the prevention of falls,
(d) engage in no other duties while acting as the safety monitor,
(e) be located so as to have a clear view of the work,
(f) be able to have normal voice communication with the workers being protected, and
(g) be instantly distinguishable from other workers.
(4) Only workers directly required for the work at hand may be inside the control zone.
(5) A safety monitor may monitor a maximum of 8 workers.
(6) The fall protection plan for the workplace must specify the name of each safety monitor and contain a record of the monitor's training for this role.
Copyright © 2003: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada