IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Evaluation of a horizontal lifeline system and anchorages used in installing residential roofs


Falls from height are the leading cause of death among construction workers. International regulations require the protection of workers exposed to a risk of falling 1.8 meters or more. Construction workers who install residential roofs are exposed to the risks and hazards of falling because this work is done at elevation and in difficult conditions. Workers precariously balanced on the frame may fall or lose their balance when installing trusses.

To protect these workers against falls from height while installing trusses, a home building contractor developed a horizontal lifeline system (HLS) consisting of two aluminum posts and a steel cable, with the roof used as a holding structure. However, this system, although functional, is heavy and cumbersome, which hinders its use on construction sites.

At the request of the Association paritaire pour la santé et la sécurité du travail du secteur de la construction (joint sector-based association for the construction industry), this study is meant to improve the HLS to reduce its weight and make it effective, user-friendly and reliable.

Testing of falls from height with a dummy on a home building frame reconstructed in a laboratory was done to test the resistance of roof trusses as holding structures. Lastly, the researchers will test the roof’s resistance as a holding structure for the three anchorage connectors most commonly used on roofs.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2013-0047
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2017