Fall Protection – Wood Frame Tie-Offs OK

Fall_Protection-Wood_Frame_Tie-Offs_OK-Creative_Safety_Supply-250x250Fall protection with personal fall arrest systems in residential construction is no longer a controversy. A new study says a PFAS anchored to wood is safe.

Many construction companies have said that personal fall arrest systems aren’t feasible in residential work. New research proves them wrong. Safe tie-offs are possible with wood frame construction.

Hear the results commissioned by CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training. A link to the full study is in the transcript, below.


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Dan Clark: Can personal fall arrest systems work in residential construction? Some construction companies claim the systems don’t work with wood frames. But the debate is now settled. Next.

Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, tackling health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Go to creativesafetysupply.com use coupon code BIG10. It will save you 10%.

Why have some construction companies objected to using personal fall arrest systems?

• They claim wood frames in residential homes aren’t suitable anchor points to hold PFASs.

• They claim making the structures into legitimate anchor points would require an engineer, which can be expensive.

• They claim residential homes often don’t have enough fall clearance to safely use PFASs.

BUT…a recent study from CPWR, The Center For Construction Research And Training, resolves the argument. Modern fall protection can safely be tied-off to wood frames and function just fine in residential construction.

The study examined a company in the southwest US that specialized in frame carpentry. They used personal fall arrest systems with wood frames as anchor points.

After looking at over a dozen incidents where PFASs caught people who fell, the researchers found that the personal fall arrest systems functioned just right and prevented many injuries. They did not bring in an engineer to set up the personal fall arrest systems, so there were no excessive costs. The anchor points and structure were not damaged and falls occurred between heights of eight and 19 feet.


• Builders should use fall protection when workers are at heights of 6 feet or higher.

• Install anchors and used PFASs according to manufacturer instructions.

• Provide training in the appropriate use of fall protection.

That’s all for this episode, Fall Protection – Wood Frame Tie-Offs OK. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.


construction images 2012 by NIOSH / CDC / Pietra Check; Study © ℗ 2015 CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training. All rights reserved.

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