Safety Tethers

Safety Tethers

Sep 17, 2012

Falling off a forklift is one of the three leading causes of forklift-related fatalities. When using an operator-up truck, such as an Order Picker or a Swing Reach, always use the proper fall protection.

A Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) is the equipment used to protect workers from falling off working platforms. It is composed of a safety harness or safety belt, a tether, and an anchorage point.
A tether is a flexible line of rope, wire rope, or web strapping with a connector for connecting a safety harness or safety belt to an anchorage point. An operator should always inspect their tether before each use. When inspecting their tether they should:
  • Begin inspecting at one end of the tether and work their way to the other end.
  • Slowly rotate the tether so that the entire surface is inspected.
  • Inspect snaps for corrosion, cracks, or distortion.
  • Ensure that tether hooks are not damaged, bent, or cracked.

When using a tether, always remember:

  • The maximum length of a tether for a PFAS is 6 feet, as that is the maximum distance a worker can be allowed to fall with a PFAS.
  • The tether must have a minimum strength of 5000 lbs.
  • The maximum weight of an individual using a tether is 310 lbs. Special equipment is required for individuals weighing over 310lbs.
  • Never connect two or more tethers together.
  • Never tie a knot in a tether as this will reduce the potential capacity by 50%.
  • Never wrap a tether around a beam or other sharp object.

Remember, one mistake when working at heights can result in a fatal accident. Always wear your fall protection.

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