OSHA rescinds lanyard interpretation

Date Posted
Mike Rich

OSHA has rescinded a January 2009 letter of interpretation regarding the use of a particular shock-absorbing lanyard in aerial work platforms.

The original letter of interpretation stated because of the requirement of certain lanyards to have an anchor point at a height of 18.5 feet, their usage would likely not comply with OSHA standards when working at lower heights.

According to OSHA the original letter created confusion and mass inquiries about the use of body harnesses, typically married with appropriate lanyards, for fall protection in aerial lifts.

To avoid the confusion OSHA rescinded the interpretation.

“In rescinding this letter, OSHA is not concluding that the application described above is acceptable, rather it is clarifying that fall protection systems should not be based solely on information provided by the manufacturer, but should also take into account OSHA regulations and results of the job-specific risk assessment,” said Tony Groat of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) USA.

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