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The truth about anchor point thresholds

Employers in Missouri and throughout the country may believe that they need a 5,000 pound anchor point to meet OSHA rules. However, this may not be as defined of a standard as employers think it is. The actual rule states that any personal fall arrest system must have a safety factor of at least two. When conducting a fall system test, it must be conducted with a weight of approximately 220 pounds and from a height of at least six feet.

If the test records a force of greater than 2,520 pounds, the test is considered a failure. Therefore, if there needs to be a safety factor of at least two, an anchor point would need to support a force of roughly 5,000 pounds. However, it is possible that a worker would only generate 900 to 1,800 pounds of force in a fall. This is because the system may work to decrease the speed at which a person falls.

Therefore, it is possible to have an acceptable fall arrest system that can only hold up to 1,800 pounds of force as opposed to 5,000. However, employers should always conduct thorough tests before determining how much weight an anchor point may need to hold. The overall idea is that by adhering to the 5,000 pound threshold, employers may actually be removing safety equipment that meets OSHA requirements.

If a worker is hurt in a fall or for any other reason, he or she may receive workers' compensation benefits. These may help a worker pay medical bills related to a neck, head or back injury. Workers are generally entitled to such benefits regardless of whose fault the accident was.

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