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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 3, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 214Subpart B → §214.105


Title 49: Transportation
PART 214—RAILROAD WORKPLACE SAFETY
Subpart B—Bridge Worker Safety Standards


§214.105   Fall protection systems standards and practices.

(a) General requirements. All fall protection systems required by this subpart shall conform to the following:

(1) Fall protection systems shall be used only for personal fall protection.

(2) Any fall protection system subjected to impact loading shall be immediately and permanently removed from service unless fully inspected and determined by a competent person to be undamaged and suitable for reuse.

(3) All fall protection system components shall be protected from abrasions, corrosion, or any other form of deterioration.

(4) All fall protection system components shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage, corrosion, mildew, and other deterioration. Defective components shall be permanently removed from service.

(5) Prior to use and after any component or system is changed, bridge workers shall be trained in the application limits of the equipment, proper hook-up, anchoring and tie-off techniques, methods of use, and proper methods of equipment inspection and storage.

(6) The railroad or railroad contractor shall provide for prompt rescue of bridge workers in the event of a fall.

(7) Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to interfacing parts of the system.

(8) Connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent-strength materials.

(9) Anchorages, including single- and double-head anchors, shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per bridge worker attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used under supervision of a qualified person as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.

(b) Personal fall arrest systems. All components of a personal fall arrest system shall conform to the following standards:

(1) Lanyards and vertical lifelines that tie off one bridge worker shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.

(2) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards that automatically limit free fall distance to two feet or less shall have components capable of sustaining a minimum static tensile load of 3,000 pounds applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.

(3) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards that do not limit free fall distance to two feet or less, ripstitch, and tearing and deformed lanyards shall be capable of withstanding 5,000 pounds applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.

(4) Horizontal lifelines shall be designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a competent person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.

(5) Lifelines shall not be made of natural fiber rope.

(6) Body belts shall not be used as components of personal fall arrest systems.

(7) The personal fall arrest system shall limit the maximum arresting force on a bridge worker to 1,800 pounds when used with a body harness.

(8) The personal fall arrest system shall bring a bridge worker to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance a bridge worker travels to 3.5 feet.

(9) The personal fall arrest system shall have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of a bridge worker free falling a distance of six feet, or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.

(10) The personal fall arrest system shall be arranged so that a bridge worker cannot free fall more than six feet and cannot contact the ground or any lower horizontal surface of the bridge.

(11) Personal fall arrest systems shall be worn with the attachment point of the body harness located in the center of the wearer's back near shoulder level, or above the wearer's head.

(12) When vertical lifelines are used, each bridge worker shall be provided with a separate lifeline.

(13) Devices used to connect to a horizontal lifeline that may become a vertical lifeline shall be capable of locking in either direction.

(14) Dee-rings and snap-hooks shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.

(15) Dee-rings and snap-hooks shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds.

(16) Snap-hooks shall not be connected to each other.

(17) Snap-hooks shall be dimensionally compatible with the member to which they are connected to prevent unintentional disengagement, or shall be a locking snap-hook designed to prevent unintentional disengagement.

(18) Unless of a locking type, snap-hooks shall not be engaged:

(i) Directly, next to a webbing, rope, or wire rope;

(ii) To each other;

(iii) To a dee-ring to which another snap-hook or other connector is attached;

(iv) To a horizontal lifeline; or

(v) To any object that is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in relation to the snap-hook so that unintentional disengagement could occur.

(c) Safety net systems. Use of safety net systems shall conform to the following standards and practices:

(1) Safety nets shall be installed as close as practicable under the walking/working surface on which bridge workers are working, but shall not be installed more than 30 feet below such surface.

(2) If the distance from the working surface to the net exceeds 30 feet, bridge workers shall be protected by personal fall arrest systems.

(3) The safety net shall be installed such that any fall from the working surface to the net is unobstructed.

(4) Except as provided in this section, safety nets and net installations shall be drop-tested at the jobsite after initial installation and before being used as a fall protection system, whenever relocated, after major repair, and at six-month intervals if left in one place. The drop-test shall consist of a 400-pound bag of sand 30 inches, plus or minus two inches, in diameter dropped into the net from the highest (but not less than 312 feet) working surface on which bridge workers are to be protected.

(i) When the railroad or railroad contractor demonstrates that a drop-test is not feasible and, as a result, the test is not performed, the railroad or railroad contractor, or designated competent person, shall certify that the net and its installation are in compliance with the provisions of this section by preparing a certification record prior to use of the net.

(ii) The certification shall include an identification of the net, the date it was determined that the net was in compliance with this section, and the signature of the person making this determination. Such person's signature shall certify that the net and its installation are in compliance with this section. The most recent certification for each net installation shall be available at the jobsite where the subject net is located.

(5) Safety nets and their installations shall be capable of absorbing an impact force equal to that produced by the drop test specified in this section.

(6) The safety net shall be installed such that there is no contact with surfaces or structures below the net when subjected to an impact force equal to the drop test specified in this section.

(7) Safety nets shall extend outward from the outermost projection of the work surface as follows:

(i) When the vertical distance from the working level to the horizontal plane of the net is 5 feet or less, the minimum required horizontal distance of the outer edge of the net beyond the edge of the working surface is 8 feet.

(ii) When the vertical distance from the working level to the horizontal plane of the net is 5 feet, but less than 10 feet, the minimum required horizontal distance of the outer edge of the net beyond the edge of the working surface is 10 feet.

(iii) When the vertical distance from the working level to the horizontal plane of the net is more than 10 feet, the minimum required horizontal distance of the outer edge of the net beyond the edge of the working surface is 13 feet.

(8) Defective nets shall not be used. Safety nets shall be inspected at least once a week for mildew, wear, damage, and other deterioration. Defective components shall be removed permanently from service.

(9) Safety nets shall be inspected after any occurrence that could affect the integrity of the safety net system.

(10) Tools, scraps, or other materials that have fallen into the safety net shall be removed as soon as possible, and at least before the next work shift.

(11) Each safety net shall have a border rope for webbing with a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.

(12) The maximum size of each safety net mesh opening shall not exceed 36 square inches and shall not be longer than 6 inches on any side measured center-to-center of mesh ropes or webbing. All mesh crossing shall be secured to prevent enlargement of the mesh opening.

(13) Connections between safety net panels shall be as strong as integral net components and shall be spaced not more than 6 inches apart.

[67 FR 1906, Jan. 15, 2002; 67 FR 11055, Mar. 12, 2002]

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