Fall Protection Systems: Horizontal Lifelines Vs. Anchor Points

Do you have an upcoming project that entails working at heights? Investing in fall protection systems is crucial to ensuring a safe working environment. However, fall restraint and fall arrest systems comprise several components and equipment. Safety harnesses, lanyards, horizontal lifelines and anchors or anchor points are a few of the many height safety equipment you will need for your project. And knowing how different height safety systems and equipment work goes a long way in helping you select the best for your needs. This piece breaks down the difference between horizontal lifelines and anchor points to help you decide on the right one for your project.

Number Of Workers

A simple way to determine the right choice for your project between anchor points and horizontal lifelines is to consider the number of workers working at a time. As the name implies, anchor points feature a series of anchor points installed on a selected area on-site. A worker will then need to attach their safety harness and lanyard to the anchor point. As they move to a different location on the worksite, the worker will need to detach their lanyards and reattach them to another anchor point closer to their work area. On the other hand, horizontal lifelines consist of cabling or wire-rope connected to two or a series of anchor points depending on the project.

Because of the design of these two fall protection systems, anchor points are most suitable for one person at a time. Therefore, if you have a team of workers who need to work simultaneously, you need to install multiple anchor points. Unfortunately, this isn't always the most efficient way to promote the productivity of your workers. Therefore, for such applications, horizontal lifelines are the perfect solution. You only need two or more anchor points for the lifeline track. Workers will then attach their lanyards to the horizontal lifeline. This configuration allows them freedom of movement when working and eliminates the need to detach and reattach their lanyards when they need to access a different area on your worksite.

Work Area

Do the workers have to cover every section of your worksite? Horizontal lifelines may be the ideal way to go. Usually, because of their design, anchor points offer a 360 degrees reachable area. That means the corners may be left unreached, especially when the anchor point is in the middle. And while you may want to install your anchor points closer to the edges or corners for your workers to reach all areas of your worksite, you could be increasing the risk of a fall. On the other hand, a horizontal lifeline allows more movement around the perimeter of the worksite, including the corners. Therefore, assess how your workers need to perform their tasks before choosing between the two systems.

For more information on height safety products, contact a professional near you.