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Worker injuries at stake with fall arrest systems

Connecticut employees who work in high places are often at risk of on-the-job injuries and accidents. Since these types of worksites are associated with damaging falls and other injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established strong standards for fall arrest equipment. One of these regulations sets the strength of anchor points that can be used at work sites as part of a fall arrest program.

While many safety experts believe that these regulations require every anchor point to support a capacity of 5,000 pounds per person, this is not a precise reflection of the standard. The rule requires that every anchor point must support at least 5,000 pounds or twice the amount of force incurred by a fall of an average worker. OSHA has specified that the average weight of a worker is 220 pounds. However, twice the amount of force incurred by a falling 220-pound worker does not equate to 5,000 pounds. Depending on the location, it could range from 1,800 to 3,600 pounds per person.

In many cases, an anchor point that supports a lower amount of weight can be an appropriate choice that meets OSHA standards for worker protection on the job. However, this should not be construed in order to support the use of insufficient fall protection, which is a major cause of unsafe working conditions.

Unfortunately, workplace injuries can lead to serious consequences and life-long disabilities. When workers are injured on the job, they have a right to compensation for their medical bills. A workers' compensation attorney can work with injured employees.

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