Like other contractors who comply with OSHA fall standards, I've had to ask myself: how am I supposed to compete with crews that don't use fall protection? It's expensive to set up staging and time-consuming to rig nets so we usually opt for lifelines and harnesses. But in some situations it's nearly impossible to properly rig a lifeline — as when rolling trusses. Fortunately, I recently discovered a product that solves this problem...
Last spring I took an OSHA 10 safety course because OSHA was stepping up fall protection enforcement and I did not want to be fined. During the course I saw a number of OSHA compliant products for rigging lifelines, including a Super Anchor product called The Safety Bar.
I found out that Super Anchor was only a few hours away, so I went to them for some training on fall protection. Many companies manufacture fall arrest harnesses, but few design anchor points that are easy to use. Super Anchor has carved out a niche by specializing in anchor points.
The Safety Bar is very easy to set up; just slip it over the top chords of three trusses, pop in the detent pins, and then put a couple of nails through the 1/8-inch holes in the bar to keep it from sliding. As long as the trusses are braced, you now have a legal tie off point for two workers (provided neither is over 310 pounds). As a sort of bonus, the bar holds trusses on layout too.
For our crew, I think we'll buy another bar or two the next time we frame a big house. I looked online and found them for sale for between $280-$380. That's not cheap, but it's a whole lot less than the fine we face for framing without proper fall protection. Compared to the alternatives, buying The Safety Bar seems like a no brainer.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Tim Uhler is a lead framer for Pioneer Builders in Port Orchard, Washington, and a Tools of the Trade contributing editor. He has been framing since his teens and has authored numerous technical articles and tool reviews for JLC and Tools of the Trade.