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

Update of the technical guide to designing horizontal lifelines


Despite national and international regulations for the protection of workers at risk of falling 1.8 meters or more, falls from height are still a primary cause of death for construction workers. Such falls are the second leading cause of accident-related costs ($388 million per year from 2005-2007) and accounted for 21% of work-related fatalities in 2009 (approximately 6,000 falls from height per year).

Horizontal lifeline systems (HLS) are an inexpensive and effective way to protect workers from falls from height. Designing them is a complex problem, however, due to the dynamic nature of the load and non-linearity of the cable.
The IRSST had published an initial technical guide to designing horizontal lifelines (Report T-18) for engineers, which proposed a simple manual calculation method for determining maximum anchoring force and HLS deformation through graph reading. Since then, however, a number of documents and standards referenced in the guide have been updated, withdrawn or rewritten.

The purpose of this project is to update the technical guide by developing a new calculation method incorporating anchorage rigidity and updates to standards, developing new calculation graphs and validating the new calculation method through dynamic fall testing.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2013-0092
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2016