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Tensile Strength

By: Tabitha Mishra

What Does Tensile Strength Mean?

Tensile strength refers to the maximum amount of tensile stress that personal protective equipment (PPE) and its components can withstand before they fall or break. The tensile strength of PPE is a crucial factor in determining its ability to withstand workplace conditions and provide adequate protection in the event of an accident.

The selection of PPE should be done carefully depending on the work environment where it is to be used. Equipment that supports workers has to be capable of bearing the weight of the person, including their tools and protective clothing. Components such as lifelines, lanyards, rope grabs, and hooks should be strong enough to withstand the load.

Safeopedia Explains Tensile Strength

Employers provide protective clothing and equipment to safeguard their workers from potential hazards to their health or safety. Use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) is required where workers are working at height or at risk of a fall.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laid down tensile load criteria for various components of a PFAS.

  • Vertical lifelines and lanyards shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.24 Kn) – 1915.159(b)(2).
  • Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards that automatically limit free-fall distances to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,000 pounds (13.34 Kn) applied to a self-retracting lifeline or lanyard with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position – 1915.159(b)(3).
  • Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which do not limit free-fall distance to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less, ripstitch lanyards, and tearing and deforming lanyards shall be capable of sustaining a minimum static tensile load of 5,000 pounds (22.24 Kn) applied to the device when they are in the fully extended position – 1915.159(b)(4).
  • D-rings and snap hooks shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds (22.24 Kn) – 1915.159(a)(3).
  • D-ring and snap-hooks shall be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds (16 Kn) without cracking, breaking or being permanently deformed – 1915.159(a)(4).
Anchor points for PFASs should be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee.
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PPESafety EquipmentFall ProtectionWorking at height

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