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The ISFP Symposium

Fall Protection Symposium

Falls from height continue to pose serious risks to the health and safety of workers worldwide.  As the international voice and forum for fall protection information exchange, the International Society for Fall Protection (ISFP) invites you to participate in the ISFP Symposium on June 27-28, immediately following the American Society of Safety Engineer’s Safety 2013 Professional Development Conference and Exposition.

The ISFP Symposium brings together world-renowned experts in the field of fall protection and provides a platform for attendees to discuss and learn about the most current tools and methods for controlling and eliminating fall hazards.  Attendees will learn about the latest advances in the field of fall protection, as well as guidance for safe work at height.

This year, the event’s theme is Don’t Play the Odds and will challenge the complacency that is often related to fall hazard risk. The consequences of a fall from height are too significant for anyone—manufacturers, employers or users—to be numb to fall hazard risk.

Throughout the symposium, expert presentations and panel discussions will cover a full range of global fall protection topics, including horizontal lifelines, models for fall arrest testing, and industrial rope access techniques.

Symposium Objectives

  • To provide a forum for discussion and exchange of fall protection information
  • To promote research and further study in key areas affecting work at height
  • To facilitate discussion of issues directly impacting the industry
  • To generate and implement joint national activities

Learning Objectives

Join speakers and attendees from around the world to learn:

  • The results of examinations for the determination of the impact force on anchor points when using restraint systems.
  • Innovative techniques and design philosophies for providing travel restraint.
  • Case studies illustrating a systematic review of the unique aspects of HLL performance when used to anchor workers in travel restraint.
  • The relationship between the deployment force function of an energy absorber and the weight of the worker to present a new performance metric.
  • A new method of classifying energy absorbers that will simplify testing requirements for standards and be more easily understandable to users in the field.
  • Preliminary results of testing to better understand the mechanisms of aging, with a goal to establish reliable criteria for obsolescence.
  • Practical guidance that an employer can use to effectively prepare, both internally and with external resources, for the fall protection incident he hopes will never occur.
  • A method for lifeline calculation, considering the flexibility of the anchorage, resulting in lower force.
  • How workers at elevation can increase their personal safety by adhering to the concept of three-point control.

Highlights

  • Wrap-up panel discussion with leading fall protection experts
  • Technical sessions on topical issues specific to height safety
  • Presentation of the Andrew Sulowski Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Fall Protection
  • Networking opportunities with peers

CEUs

Those attending the ISFP Symposium are eligible to earn 0.8 Continuing Education Units. Those attending the ISFP Symposium and Safety 2013 may earn a total of 2.3 CEUs. To receive CEUs, attendees need to be present for the education hours of the sessions and participate in learning activities provided.

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Schedule

Thursday, June 27, 2013
12:00PM – 1:00PM - Opening Luncheon
1:00PM – 2:00PM - Keynote Address
2:15PM – 5:00PM - Technical Program

  • Concurrent Period 1: 2:15pm-3:30pm
  • Concurrent Period 2: 3:45pm-5:00pm

Friday, June 28, 2013
7:30AM – 8:00AM - Breakfast Briefing
8:00AM –12:00PM - Technical Program

  • Concurrent Period 3: 8:15-9:15am
  • Concurrent Period 4: 9:30-10:30am
  • Concurrent Period 5: 10:45-11:45am

12:00PM – 1:00PM - Panel Discussion

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Keynote Presentation - Fall Protection: Don’t Play the Odds
Randall Wingfield – Gravitec Systems, Inc. (U.S.)
This keynote presentation will kick-off the 2013 ISFP Symposium by focusing on the event’s theme: Don’t Play the Odds. The presenter will convey information to challenge the complacency that is often related to fall hazard risk. The consequences of a fall from height are too significant for anyone—manufacturers, employers or users—to be numb to fall hazard risk.

Concurrent Sessions

PPE in Boom-Type Mobile Elevated Work Platforms
Tanja Kopp – BG BAU (Germany)
The use of mobile elevating work platforms for working at height is increasing, since they provide a higher level of safety and efficiency in comparison with scaffoldings and ladders. However, this equipment still presents fall hazards—particularly from people falling out of the work basket due to catapult effects after an impact or interlocking of the work basket. The manufacturers of mobile elevating work platforms recommend the use of restraint systems to prevent the fall risk. This presentation will introduce the results of examinations for the determination of the impact force on the anchor point when used with restraint systems.

Design Considerations for Travel Restraint Horizontal Lifeline Systems
Greg Small – High Engineering Corp. (Canada)
Horizontal lifelines (HLLs) present unique challenges when they are used to anchor travel restraint systems. HLLs multiply forces on the system end anchorages and their deflections make it more difficult to restrain workers from reaching the fall hazard. During this session, the presenter will explore innovative techniques and design philosophies for providing travel restraint. Case studies will be presented to illustrate a systematic review of the unique aspects of HLL performance when used to anchor workers in travel restraint.

Outdoor weathering of synthetic fiber ropes in FA equipment
Andre Lan – IRSST (Canada)
Lifelines made of synthetic fiber materials degrade due to wear and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, weather, an aggressive environment and combinations of these elements. These exposures lead to a loss of strength, which creates a risk of rupture during the stop of an accidental fall. Current guidelines for replacement are based on common sense and best practices but have never been scientifically validated. This presentation will present preliminary results of testing to better understand the mechanisms of aging, with a goal to establish reliable criteria for obsolescence.

New Performance Factors: Theory and Application for Standards Development
William Parsons – Parsons Engineering Group (Canada)
This presentation reviews the basis of energy absorber deployment, and reviews the current state of energy absorbers in the market place. In particular, the presenter will explore the relationship between the deployment force function of an energy absorber and the weight of the worker to present a new performance metric. Using this “performance factor,” existing energy absorbers will be compared for effectiveness in certain falls. Finally, the analysis will be used to describe a new method of classifying energy absorbers that will simplify testing requirements for standards and be more easily understandable to users in the field.

Concurrent Sessions

Harness Attachment Point Testing – Front v. Rear Attachment
Peter Ferguson – First Access (Australia)
Testing with an articulated and instrumented dummy was recently performed to verify the survivability of frontal attachments of harnesses. This session will explain the results of this testing, which led the Australian / New Zealand standards organization to allow frontal harness attachments.

Mind the Gap:  Preplanning for Rescue
Loui McCurley – Vertical Rescue Solutions by PMI (U.S.)
ANSI Z359.2 provides excellent guidance for incorporating rescue into a comprehensive managed fall protection program.  This presentation will build on that foundation by providing practical guidance that an employer can use to effectively prepare, both internally and with external resources, for the fall protection incident he hopes will never occur.

Should you require physical testing for employees in Fall Protection PPE?
Robert Whitfield – Honeywell Technology Solutions (U.S.)
Working on platforms, bridges, towers and scaffolding can present physical challenges and risks. The ability to climb, survive a fall, assist in being rescued or performing a self-rescue are severely compromised for physically unfit workers. The purpose of this presentation is to review current practices, their benefits and present a proven program for the determination of minimum fitness levels as part of a performance-based standard for  work at height tasks. 

Lifeline design: calculation of tensions
Miguel Branchtein – Ministry of Labor and Employment (Brazil)
This presentation will provide a method for lifeline calculation, considering the flexibility of the anchorage, resulting in lower force. Using an energy approach, which is easier to formulate, gives more insight and can be solved with readily available software.

Lethal ladders: new research calls for fundamental rethink
Carl Sachs – Workplace Access & Safety Pty Ltd. (Australia)
This presentation will introduce new research by Australia's most prominent ergonomist. A host of findings calls into doubt the foundations of ladder design, from gradients to stile lengths to rung spacings to tread configurations. The presenter will explain the far-reaching implications of the exploratory study, while making the case for larger research into this most fundamental element of fall prevention. This research could be the beginning of a new direction in ladder design.

Ladder Safety: Three-Point Control
J. Nigel Ellis, Ph.D. – Ellis Fall Safety Solutions (U.S.)
Although sometimes mistaken for three-point contact, three-point control climbing strategies could help prevent many ladder fall injuries and deaths. This presentation will explain how workers at elevation can increase their personal safety by adhering to the concept of three-point control. The presenter will introduce research data relating to handholds and dynamic force for workers, varying from horizontal to vertical grips such as rungs and siderails of ladders. This session will also convey how employers can help ensure effective three-point control practices by emphasizing four basic goals of safe ladder use.
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About ISFP

Since its inception in 1988, the International Society for Fall Protection (ISFP), a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, has been dedicated to reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities by promoting research and facilitating communication among industry professionals. Its mission: to be the international voice and forum for fall protection information exchange. For more information about the ISFP, visit www.isfp.org.