What is Scissorsafe system?

Scissorsafe is a unique anchorage system designed to prevent falls from height when used as part of a fall arrest our work restraint system.
It is a planned safety system, anchor points are identified and voids formers are cast into the concrete by simply nailing them to the deck formwork, this eliminates the need to drill into concrete for anchorage.

Void formers become the anchorage point when the concrete has reached strength of 25kN/m3.

A Scissorsafe anchorage tool is inserted into the void and locked with a karabiner, which in turn connects the locked tool to fall arrest or work restraint components.

Scissorsafe anchorage tools will not allow connection until they are fully engaged and cannot move within the void former until the user removed the connector from it. There is no possibility of it self-releasing from the anchorage point.

How is Scissorsafe tested?

Scissorsafe is tested to EN795 class B by Satra , notified body for testing and certification for CE marking of products under the European Unions Personal Protective Equipment directive.

The process checks that the product meets the appropriate safety and performance standards and that procedures are in place to ensure that the product is manufactured to consistent quality standards.

What is a Fall Arrest System?

Fall Arrest System provides freedom of movement for workers to conduct their duties, but in doing so it allows them to reach he point where a fall could occur. If this happens the fall will be arrested.

What is Work Restraint or Fall Restraint?

A Temporary Work Restraint System will restrict the workers movement within a safe working zone, preventing them from reaching the fall hazard and so providing a high level of safety for workers when operating in areas with unprotected leading edges.

What is a Void Former?

Scissorsafe Void Formers are nailed or screwed onto formwork in pre-determined positions which are planned for Work Restraint or Fall Arrest.
Avoid placing Void Formers too close to concrete edges or joints or into concrete thicknesses less than 170mm.

What should the Concrete Strength be?

Before a Scissorsafe Anchorage device or system is utilised the concrete must have reached 25kN/mm³ minimum strength.

What is a Cast-in Anchorage?

Scissorsafe Anchorage points for fall protection consists of two expendable parts, Fixing Disk and Tee Mould collectively termed Void Former because they form a shaped void in hardened concrete which allow the reusable anchorage tool to fit into.

They are usually fixed into horizontal formwork to pre-determined positions for fall arrest or work restraint.

What is pendulum swing?

Pendulum swing will occur in a fall event if the fallers fall arrest anchorage point is not located directly above his head.

At the outset of the fall, the faller will initially travel vertically until tensioning of the fall arrest system occurs. At this moment the faller will begin a swing fall which will subsequently bring him under the anchorage and beyond. The fall victim will collide with any objects that lie in his path.

A worker attached to an overhead anchorage device using a sale retracting lifeline device should operate in an arc no more that thirty degrees from vertical to avoid the risk of pendulum swing.

Height Safety Competence

What is a Competent Person Trainer ?

An individual who by training, knowledge and experience is capable of conducting Competent Person Training.

An individual designated by the employer to be responsible for the immediate supervision,implementation and monitoring of the employers managed fall protection programme who , through training and knowledge is capable of identifying, evaluating and addressing existing and potential fall hazards, and who has the employers authority to take prompt corrective action with regard to such hazards.

How do you decide if someone is ‘competent’ to work at height?

You should make sure that people with sufficient skills, knowledge and experience are employed to perform the task, or, if they are being trained, that they work under the supervision of somebody competent to do it.

In the case of low-risk, short duration tasks (short duration means tasks that take less than 30 minutes) involving ladders, competence requirements may be no more than making sure employees receive instruction on how to use the equipment safely (eg how to tie a ladder properly) and appropriate training. Training often takes place on the job, it does not always take place in a classroom.

When a more technical level of competence is required, for example drawing up a plan for assembling a complex scaffold, existing training and certification schemes drawn up by trade associations and industry is one way to help demonstrate competence.

What is a confined space?

It can be any enclosed space where there is a risk of death or serious injury from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions due to lack of oxygen.

Examples of confined spaces are as follows
  • Storage tanks
  • silos
  • reaction vessels
  • enclosed drains
  • sewers
  • open-topped chambers
  • vats
  • combustion chambers in furnaces etc
  • ductwork
  • unventilated or poorly ventilated rooms.

Some places may become confined spaces when work is carried out, or during their construction, fabrication or subsequent modification. 

What are the dangers from confined spaces?

Dangers can arise in confined spaces due to a lack of oxygen, poisonous gas, fumes or vapour, liquids and solids which can suddenly fill the space, or release gases into it,fire and explosions (eg from flammable vapours, excess oxygen etc), residues left in tanks, vessels etc, or remaining on internal surfaces, which can give off gas, fume or vapour. dust present in high concentrations, eg in flour silos hot conditions leading to a dangerous increase in body temperature.

Some of the above conditions may already be present in the confined space, however, some may arise from the work being carried out, or because of ineffective isolation of plant nearby, eg leakage from a pipe connected to the confined space. The enclosure and working space may increase other dangers arising from the work being carried out.

Does the equipment need to be inspected?

Before using or directing the use of the Anchorage Tool, it is important to inspect it carefully.
The device should be fully inspected by an expert within the last twelve months.

Scissorsafe Anchorage Tools are supplied with an Inspection card which informs the user or person with the duty of care what will determine if the component is usable or not.

These Inspection cards are available as a download from www.scissorsafe.co.uk

What do I look for when inspecting Lanyards or Slings that are manufactured from webbing ?

Examples of defects and damage

The following defects and damage have the potential to result in the degradation and/or weakening of the lanyard:

  • cuts of 1 mm or more at the edges of webbing lanyards (eg where the lanyard may have been choke-hitched around steelwork);
  • surface abrasion across the face of the webbing and at the webbing loops, particularly if localised;
  • abrasion at the edges, particularly if localised;
  • damage to stitching (eg cuts or abrasion);
  • a knot in the lanyard, other than those intended by the manufacturer;
  • chemical attack which can result in local weakening and softening – often indicated by flaking of the surface. There may also be a change to the colour of the fibres;
  • heat or friction damage indicated by fibres with a glazed appearance which may feel harder than surrounding fibres;
  • UV-degradation which is difficult to identify, particularly visually, but there may be some loss of colour (if dyed) and a powdery surface;
  • partially deployed energy absorber (eg short pull-out of tear webbing);
  • contamination (eg with dirt, grit, sand etc) which may result in internal or external abrasion;
  • damaged or deformed fittings (eg karabiners, screwlink connectors, scaffold hooks);
  • damage to the sheath and core of a kernmantel rope (eg rucking of the core detected during tactile inspection); internal damage to a cable-laid rope.

What are the legal requirements and standards for inspection personal protective equipment?

The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 (as amended) require employers to maintain fall arrest equipment in good repair, including appropriate replacement. In addition, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 require that equipment which is exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations should be inspected at suitable intervals and each time exceptional circumstances which might jeopardise safety have occurred.

BS EN 365:2004 Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. General requirements for instructions for use, maintenance, periodic examination, repair, marking and packaging gives general requirements for periodic inspection, instructions for use and marking of PPE against falls from a height.

The British Standard states that components should be examined ‘at least twelve-monthly’. This is sometimes taken to be ‘annually’, although manufacturers of textile products usually recommend inspection more frequently than this.

Who can Inspect personal protective equipment ?

It is essential that the person with responsibility for inspecting Fall Protection Equipment has specific training and genuine authority to discard fall protection components that are in this person’s opinion defective.

What is the Scope of an inspection regime?

Pre-use checks
These checks should be tactile and visual, carried out each time the component is to be used. This is a visual check that should be undertaken in good light. Pass the component slowly through the hands to detect small cuts at the edges, softening or hardening of fibres, or ingress of contaminants

Detailed inspections
It is recommended that there is a detailed inspection at least every six months. For frequently used lanyards it is suggested that this is increased to at least every three months, particularly when the equipment is used in arduous environments

Detailed inspections should be recorded.

What is EN795?

EN 795 was originally intended to facilitate the CE marking of fall protection anchor devices and included five classes – ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’. Classes A, C and D, however, were deemed to be outside the scope of the European PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. These describe devices fixed onto a building or a similar permanent structure and, therefore, are not considered ‘personal’ protection equipment under the scope of the PPE Directive.
Single-user anchor devices conforming to types B or E require certification as they are temporary transportable devices and are, therefore, considered as PPE. Users of a type B or E anchor devices should ensure that the CE mark is present on the device, along with the relevant standard number and user information.

Test requirements for anchorages (EN 795)

An anchor device must pass the test requirements described below in every loading direction that could occur during a fall. In situations where an anchor device requires certifying to the PPE Directive (types B and E), these test results would need to be submitted with a technical file to allow the product to carry the CE logo.
Dynamic performance test
A shock load is created by using a test mass of 100kg free-falling from a specific height using a three-strand polyamide rope or EN 892 compliant dynamic rope lanyard.
Static strength test
A certain force is required to be held for a minimum of three minutes without failure (excluding type E anchors under EN 795:1996).
Corrosion resistance test
A sample is placed within a salt spray solution for a set period of time.
Products which have the CE mark undergo ongoing testing and auditing to ensure that the components meet the same quality and performance requirements as the original.