How Are Spreader Bars Used for Fall Protection?

When it comes to fall protection, there are a variety of options available. One option is the use of spreader bars. Spreader bars are commonly used in a variety of industries, ranging from construction to warehousing. Here’s a look at how they’re used and why they’re an effective fall protection option.

What are spreader bars?

Spreader bars are horizontal bars that are used in fall protection systems. They are typically used to connect two or more anchor points, creating a fall arrest system. Spreader bars are also sometimes used to support other fall protection equipment, such as nets and lifelines.

A spreader bar is typically made of steel or aluminum and has a lifting capacity of up to 10,000 pounds. Spreader bars are used in a variety of industries, including construction, automotive, and aerospace.

How do spreader bars help with fall protection?

In general, spreader bars are used to keep workers safe when they are working at heights. Spreader bars help to distribute the weight of a person or object evenly, which prevents them from falling. They also help to keep the person or object from moving around too much, which can prevent injuries.

What are some common uses for spreader bars?

They are often used in combination with other safety devices, such as scaffolding or personal fall arrest systems.

Spreader bars are a versatile fall protection solution that can be used in a variety of applications. Below are some common uses for spreader bars:

  • In construction, spreader bars are often used to support scaffolding or to create makeshift bridges over gaps.
  • In warehouses and other industrial settings, spreader bars may be used to support heavy loads during lifting and transfer operations.
  • Spreader bars can also be used in rescue situations, such as when lifting a patient onto a stretcher or extricating someone from a confined space.

How do you choose the right spreader bar for your needs?

When it comes to safety, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” The same is true for choosing the right fall protection spreader bar. Depending on the application, job site conditions, and other factors, the ideal spreader bar will vary. To help you select the right product for your needs, we’ve compiled some key considerations below.

  • Determine the maximum clear opening (MCO) required by OSHA.
  • The MCO is the distance between the inside edge of each end fitting or attachment point on the device, not including any Insulating Link Assemblies (ILAs).
  • Choose a bar length that meets or exceeds the MCO requirements for your fall hazard. A longer bar provides more options for positioning during installation and use.
  • Consider job site conditions that may impact your selection.
  • Factors such as wind, rain, and ice can influence both the fall hazard and the feasibility of using a particular device or system.
  • Review product specifications to ensure compatibility with other existing fall protection components, such as anchors, harnesses, lanyards, etc.

How do you properly set up and use a spreader bar?

When used for fall protection, spreader bars are typically attached to an anchored structure, such as a roof or other overhead support. Workers can then clip their safety harnesses to the bar, which will prevent them from falling more than a few inches if they slip or trip while working.

Spreader bars are an effective fall protection solution for many workers, but they must be used properly to be effective. Here are some tips on how to properly set up and use a spreader bar:

  • Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions before using a spreader bar.
  • The bar should be long enough so that it extends at least two feet beyond the edge of the work area.
  • The bar should be positioned at least six feet away from any potential hazards, such as power lines or exposed machinery.
  • The bar should be level and positioned horizontally before workers start using it.
  • Always use chains or other approved methods to secure the spreader bar to an anchored structure.
  • Inspect the spreader bar before each use to ensure that it is not damaged or bent. – Do not exceed the rated capacity of the spreader bar.

What are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a spreader bar?

When using a spreader bar for fall protection, there are several safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Inspect the spreader bar before each use to ensure that it is free of damage and defects.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load capacity of the spreader bar.
  • Be sure to secure the spreader bar to a firm and stable anchor point.
  • When attaching lanyards or other fall protection devices to the spreader bar, use only approved connectors and methods.
  • Do not use the spreader bar for any purpose other than fall protection.

What are some common mistakes people make when using a spreader bar?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using a spreader bar is not properly securing it. Spreader bars must be properly secured at both ends in order to be effective. Another common mistake is not using the proper size spreader bar for the job. Spreader bars come in a variety of sizes, and using the wrong size can create a hazardous situation.

How can you troubleshoot problems with your spreader bar?

If you are having difficulty using your spreader bar, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. First, check to make sure that the bar is properly secured. Next, check to see if the bar is level. Finally, check to see if the bar is properly attached to the anchors.

In Closing

Spreader bars play a crucial role in keeping workers safe when they perform tasks at height. Make sure to understand how to use and properly set up a spreader bar before relying on it while working.

NEXT UP: What Jobs Require Carabiners?

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Jack Harrison
About Jack Harrison

JT Harrison is an expert Survival Instructor, focused on wilderness and urban survival techniques. He focuses on survival, prepping, food, water, shelter and other essential steps individuals and families can take to live for long periods outdoors, or in crisis situations. JT has been trekking and climbing for 20+ years in some of the harshest environments in the world. Learn more about JT here or connect with him on Twitter