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Anchor points protect workers' safety at heights

Workers in Georgia operating at heights are frequently at risk on the job due to the dangers of falls at industrial sites, construction zones and other properties. There are a number of federal requirements that exist to help prevent dangerous accidents on the job, including regulations for the strength of anchor points used to keep workers and their fall arrest equipment firmly affixed to a protective location.

Many people believe that federal safety regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require all anchor points to support 5,000 pounds of weight per person attached. However, this is not a precise interpretation of the rule and could lead to the exclusion of useful and important points as part of a fall prevention system. In fact, an anchor point should be able to support either 5,000 pounds per person or twice the amount of force incurred when a worker falls.

When an average worker, specified by OSHA as weighing 220 pounds, falls over a 6-foot drop using fall arrest technology, the force that they generate ranges from 900 to 1,800 pounds per person. This means in many cases that each anchor point must support 1,800 to 3,600 pounds of force per person attached. Of course, speculation is not sufficient in order to sufficiently protect workers on the job. On the contrary, any use of alternate anchor points requires thorough testing; failure to do so could have serious and even deadly results for workers' safety on the job.

Many work sites are, unfortunately, less concerned with workplace safety. Even in safety-conscious jobs, worker injuries and accidents occur far too frequently, often leading to serious injuries or lifelong disabilities. Employees hurt on the job have a right to workers' compensation benefits, and an attorney may help injured workers protect their rights and fight to receive the compensation they deserve after a damaging injury.

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