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Suspended Access

There are different kinds of suspended access equipment (SAE) available, such as various types of swingstages. When determining which type of SAE to use for a particular job, you need to consider

  • building height
  • roof capacity
  • the area available for setup
  • location, type, and capacity of permanent roof anchors
  • if there are no permanent roof anchors, what provisions are necessary to adequately anchor support cables and fall arrest systems
  • whether or not there is a parapet wall
  • electrical hazards
  • the amount of overhang required for outrigger beams.

Once the appropriate SAE has been selected and set up, go through the following safety checklist each time before you use the SAE.

  • The operator is knowledgeable and competent to operate the equipment.
  • All the required components are available, properly rigged, and in good condition.
  • Failsafe devices such as rope grabs, secondary safety devices, and overspeed controls are installed and in working order.
  • Power supplies for climbers are adequate, grounded, and secured.
  • All tiebacks for outrigger and parapet clamps are properly secured to adequate anchor points. Tieback lines must, at a minimum, be of equal strength to the main line and must be secured to an anchor point that is capable of supporting the weight of the suspended load and the supporting system.
  • An adequate number of counterweights are securely attached to the outrigger beams.
  • Fibre ropes are protected from chafing and abrasion.
  • Emergency rescue procedures have been planned, prepared, and communicated to everyone on the jobsite.
Make sure each of these items is checked off before you or any of your workers uses the SAE.

For more information about SAE safety, download the Suspended Access Equipment chapter of the Construction Health and Safety Manual.

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