OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 9 Fall Protection

Section 149 Wood pole climbing

CSA Standard Z259.14-01, Fall Restrict Equipment for Wood Pole Climbing, specifies the requirements for testing the performance and strength of fall restrict equipment for wood pole climbing. This equipment is for use by a single worker exposed to the hazard of falling when ascending or descending, moving around and working on or from a wood pole. Fall restrict equipment is most commonly used by linepersons in the electrical/utility, telecommunications, and construction sectors.

The main parts of a fall restrict system are a modified pole strap, rigid but articulated frame, and connecting hardware (see Figure 9.13). The fall restrict system allows a worker to remain at his or her work position with both hands free. The system performs a limited fall arrest function when the worker loses contact between his or her spurs and the pole. According to the CSA Standard, a Type A system cannot be used on icy poles; a Type AB system can be used on icy poles.

Figure 9.13 An example of fall restrict equipment used when working on or from a wood pole

Only fall restrict equipment approved to CSA Standard Z259.14-01, Fall Restrict Equipment for Wood Pole Climbing, is acceptable. For compliance purposes, the equipment must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI, etc. as evidence that the equipment meets the requirements of the Standard. Fall restrict equipment in use before April 30, 2004 does not need to be approved to this standard.

CSA Standard Z259.3-M1978 (R2003), Lineman’s Body Belt and Lineman’s Safety Strap, specifies the minimum strength and safety requirements, sizes, markings, and packaging for body belts and safety straps. The equipment is intended for use by workers in the power and communication utilities.

Only lineman’s body belts approved to CSA Standard Z259.3-M1978 (R2003), Lineman’s Body Belt and Lineman’s Safety Strap, are acceptable. For compliance purposes, the body belt must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI, etc. as evidence that the equipment meets the requirements of the Standard. This requirement for approval to the Standard does not apply to lineman’s body belts in use before April 30, 2004.

Although it may be common practice to wear a lineman’s body belt as part of a fall restrict system, a full body harness does a better job of distributing fall arrest forces to a greater portion of the worker’s body. Because of this better distribution of forces, many linemen already use full body harnesses for other work-related activities.

This section allows the use of either a full body harness or lineman’s body belt while using fall restrict equipment. This recognizes that industry is in the process of making the transition to full body harnesses. Industry is encouraged to continue with this transition and eventually replace all lineman’s body belts with full body harnesses.