Completed Research

Dissemination of a Leading Edge Fall Protection System (Completed – 2004-2009)

Michael McCann, PhD

Silver Spring, MD
Ph: (301) 578-8500

CPWR and safety consultant Dan Paine of Innovative Safety analyzed a fall prevention system for metal decking in steel buildings designed and used by Capco Steel Inc., of Providence, R.I. Workers tie off on cables above their heads that are secured to steel columns with pre-punched holes. Ideally, the system would virtually eliminate fall hazards for this job with little or no loss in productivity.

The research took a surprising turn when researchers discovered problems in preventing the cables from sagging, necessitating new engineering and testing to resolve the problem. At present, researchers are seeking an experienced decking crew to perform site visits and test the altered system. Once the changes are completed, the planned training DVD and manual to aid contractors, foremen and workers in the equipment’s installa-tion and use will be completed, scheduled for 2010-2011.

Original Project Abstract:

The rate of fatal falls among ironworkers in 1999 was 68 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. The overall goal of this transition research project is to increase the number of steel erection contractors implementing 1000% fall protection on construction sites nation-wide by using a Leading Edge Fall Protection System. This system, developed by Capco Steel Inc., has been proven to prevent injuries due to falls from a leading edge. The leading edge of a deck is the unprotected side and the edge of a deck which changes location as additional decking sections are placed. The specific aims of this project are: 1) to develop, evaluate and produce a 20-minute videotape on how to install and use the Leading Edge Fall Protection System, and train workers in its use; 2) to develop and evaluate a companion workbook and checklist of steps to system implementation; 3) to pilot the videotape and workbook with a steel erection contractor; and 4) to evaluate the ability of the erection contractor to safely implement the leading edge fall protection system. This pilot translation project, if successful, will then be expanded to steel erection contractors nationwide in future years of this cooperative agreement.