Another safety approach

Horizontal lifelines offer roofing professionals more fall-protection options

Fall protection is an important part of a roofing company's operations. But choosing the appropriate fall-protection system for a given job can be complicated because of the many options available. When it comes to fall protection for rooftops and other locations with potential fall risks, horizontal lifelines offer roofing professionals greater flexibility. Protecting multiple workers per system and allowing workers greater freedom of movement than single-point anchorages, horizontal lifelines provide continuous fall protection during long work sessions while permitting lateral movements across roofs—all with 100 percent tie-off.

Correct specification, installation and use of horizontal lifelines are critical to realizing the advantages of the system in terms of worker productivity and safety. Although a personal dialogue with a certified safety professional or manufacturer is the best source for recommendations and information, following is a brief checklist to get started.

Comparing configurations

Horizontal lifeline systems are offered in a variety of configurations. In its simplest form, a horizontal lifeline consists of a cable or rope attached between two anchor points on a rooftop or other elevated work area that poses a fall risk for personnel. Workers typically attach themselves to a horizontal lifeline with a lanyard. The system's sliding connection reduces the risk of dangerous swing falls, which can occur if a worker moves away laterally from a fixed anchorage.