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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are building a small-ish pole barn (18'x29') completely by ourselves. It is the first building either of us has ever built, and it is turning out so much better than I thought it would. :laugh: We are at the roofing stage, using metal corrugated panels, and we are down to the last few panels on the top section. It has a center aisle with a 12/12 pitch, and side sheds with a 4/12 pitch. But the way we did it, we had a solid loft floor under our feet for most of the steep pitched part. I have a fear of heights (though I have been getting better during this process), and I'm starting to get nervous. I know I'm going to end up out on the roof to finish the top sections.

So I bought a Werner fall protection system that includes a temporary anchor, a lanyard and rope, and a harness. I also picked up a Guardian cross arm anchor strap. I'm trying to figure out the best anchor to use and the best way to attach the anchor. From what I'm reading, I'm wondering if the temporary anchor is appropriate. For example, they talk about screwing the anchor directly into the sheathing. But we are doing a basic old fashioned pole barn with the metal put down directly on purlins.

Anyone else used one of these anchors and harnesses with corrugated metal roofing?
 

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over the top

The easy thing to do is drop a rope over the top of the building from the side you are working on and anchor it to something solid on the other side. With corrugated metal you might have to protect the rope from chaffing. I've never used a quick anchor.


Treefarmer
 

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First thing that comes to my mind but may not be appropriate....

Is there a way you can fasten a ladder onto the roof over the existing panels to reach over to fasten the last panel? I am thinking of a ladder tied off over the peak and down to the ground with an anchor on the opposite side.

Something like these examples -

34DECDDB-7A11-4095-B871-5635A8788FE8.jpeg

B582F86E-46DD-4404-A6F3-6CB5A9897562.jpeg
 

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Park tractor on the other side and tie a rope to the 3PT hitch. Then use your harness to attach to that. Make sure rope is long enough to break your fall and not log enough for you to hit the ground, then you would be defeating the whole purpose of the safety thing. :mocking:
 

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Park tractor on the other side and tie a rope to the 3PT hitch. Then use your harness to attach to that. Make sure rope is long enough to break your fall and not log enough for you to hit the ground, then you would be defeating the whole purpose of the safety thing. :mocking:
A fella I knew at work did this. He tied off to a bumper of his truck, threw the rope over the roof and tied off to that end. Everything was going well until he heard the familiar clunk of the door shutting on his truck. He tried to untie the rope as his wife started it up and put it into gear. He came flying over the roof, down the other side and crashed to the ground as the rope came free. He broke an arm, a leg, several ribs, and a collar bone. He's a lucky SOB. But we'd laugh our a$$es of every time we got him to tell this story.

Bottom line....bad idea. Don't tie off to a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had thought of all of these in some form (well, except dieselshadow's example :lol:) and a couple of others that were much more questionable. I appreciate all the responses.

I was leaning toward going over the top of the building with the rope and it is good to see other folks suggesting it. So I'm not completely crazy. :laugh: What we have done so far is keeping out the rain, no leaks, and I really hate the thought of intentionally putting holes in the metal now. I plan to use the cross arm anchor around the middle post and the top sill of the opposite side shed (nothing my wife can drive away!)

Re the ladder, the 12/12 pitch section is about 7 feet long, and I can reach up to all but the last purlin and the ridge cap standing at the bottom, so I will need to do something to reach that. I'm thinking of building a small ladder to provide a step up, using the wood we have on hand. I like the idea of tying it off to something solid on the other side instead of trying to make a hook to go over the ridgeline.

At one point I was considering renting one of these - TM34T | Trailer Mounted Cherry Picker - Niftylift USA. It would help me do the roofing AND the siding across the loft area. I may still do that if I lose my nerve while doing the roofing! Dont judge me...:lol::lol:

I actually thought of the tractor method but tying off to the ROPS. My reasoning was if I fall and am dangling in my harness, my wife could slowly lower me down by backing up closer to the building. She pointed out that the ROPS is designed for forces pushing inwards, not outwards. Maybe not a good idea to tie off on the ROPS...
 

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About the cherry picker type lift -

If you are at an end of the building as you say that could work. I wish it would work for what I need....I have an 8/12 pitch second story roof that needs a couple repairs. A man lift would be great but I wouldn’t be able to reach the roof proper from the bucket.

Thinking about your metal roof - I am sitting here looking at my pavillion that we built years ago with a metal roof. It’s only a 6/12 pitch. I don’t remember but I must have scrambled up there to fasten the last panel somehow. But now I would never attempt it without plenty of forethought just as you are doing.
 

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A couple of other notes here.

Never use just a rope or other lanyard that has excessive slack. If you need more than a few feet of slack, you need a shock absorbing lanyard or an automatic retractor. A regular rope with more than a few feet of slack will let you build momentum as you fall. The sudden stop at the end is no different than crashing to the ground. The energy you've gained as you accelerate needs to be absorbed or dissipated through those means or limited my not allowing the slack in the first place.

Never tie a rope around you waist as a means of fall protection. That rope will severely hurt you in a fall crushing many soft tissue organs or causing you to break your spine. Seen this happen, it's very ugly and excruciating. Use a proper harness.

A tie off point should be very substantial. Think about this. When you fall, the amount of energy you have is astounding. The tie down point needs to be able to hold the weight of your truck in order to be able to safely retain that energy. I always look a tie-off points as though I going to hang a truck off it. If it'll hold my truck, it'll hold me.

Common sense is the best tool you have and safety is only as important as you make it. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
About the cherry picker type lift -

If you are at an end of the building as you say that could work. I wish it would work for what I need....I have an 8/12 pitch second story roof that needs a couple repairs. A man lift would be great but I wouldn’t be able to reach the roof proper from the bucket.

Thinking about your metal roof - I am sitting here looking at my pavillion that we built years ago with a metal roof. It’s only a 6/12 pitch. I don’t remember but I must have scrambled up there to fasten the last panel somehow. But now I would never attempt it without plenty of forethought just as you are doing.
In addition to my fear of heights, my FIL died by falling off a ladder working on a second story balcony. He lived by himself and the neighbor found him a couple of days later. So my wife is weighing in on all my suggestions and has a vested interest. If I die falling off a roof she would never speak to me again! :laugh:
 

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We made "chicken ladders" from 2x4s for roof work when I was a kid. (Called a cat ladder in the image below). You can also buy ladder hooks and use your existing ladder in the same way.

 

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dieshad-

The shock absorbing lanyards that I'm familiar with are not the end-all. They have nylon webbing packed in an accordion fashion. When deployed, there would be two jolts: one when the accordion strap deploys and the other when you reach the end of it (six to eight more feet).

I also strongly recommend inspecting the harness for nicks and tears before each use. These things are also chemically sensitive and are UV sensitive

I would go to a lot of other lengths before I went the harness/lanyard route,

Brian

A couple of other notes here.

Never use just a rope or other lanyard that has excessive slack. If you need more than a few feet of slack, you need a shock absorbing lanyard or an automatic retractor. A regular rope with more than a few feet of slack will let you build momentum as you fall. The sudden stop at the end is no different than crashing to the ground. The energy you've gained as you accelerate needs to be absorbed or dissipated through those means or limited my not allowing the slack in the first place.

Never tie a rope around you waist as a means of fall protection. That rope will severely hurt you in a fall crushing many soft tissue organs or causing you to break your spine. Seen this happen, it's very ugly and excruciating. Use a proper harness.

A tie off point should be very substantial. Think about this. When you fall, the amount of energy you have is astounding. The tie down point needs to be able to hold the weight of your truck in order to be able to safely retain that energy. I always look a tie-off points as though I going to hang a truck off it. If it'll hold my truck, it'll hold me.

Common sense is the best tool you have and safety is only as important as you make it. :thumbup1gif:
 

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In addition to my fear of heights, my FIL died by falling off a ladder working on a second story balcony. He lived by himself and the neighbor found him a couple of days later. So my wife is weighing in on all my suggestions and has a vested interest. If I die falling off a roof she would never speak to me again! :laugh:
Oscar,
Listen to DS he has valid answers and points made. In my past life we did a lot of high work such as lightning protection on the Boone Island Lighthouse off the coast of York Maine and believe me, when you are 165 feet in the air replacing the finial then 145 feet and down sitting on a bosun's chair drilling granite you make sure your fall protection is up to par and properly tied off.. fear of heights,,, you get over that pretty quick so be careful and don't tie off to the truck bumper! Even though that was funny to read I'm sure I wouldn't have thought so if I saw the episode... And please buy a lanyard that has a shock absorber as mentioned.. That sudden stop can kill you. Take it from a guy who took lessons on high rope work, (steeple jack training and repelling) your life is in your own hands, be safe, even 6 feet can kill ya, and we want you to stick around for a while... Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We made "chicken ladders" from 2x4s for roof work when I was a kid. (Called a cat ladder in the image below). You can also buy ladder hooks and use your existing ladder in the same way.

Yep, that's exactly the sort of ladder I think I need to build to get to the top purlin. I have seen some with wheels on the top (bottom?) of the ladder so you roll it up to the ridge, then flip it over. I don't think I'll be that fancy, I've just about gotten my nerve up to do this, better not procrastinate too long!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
dieshad-

The shock absorbing lanyards that I'm familiar with are not the end-all. They have nylon webbing packed in an accordion fashion. When deployed, there would be two jolts: one when the accordion strap deploys and the other when you reach the end of it (six to eight more feet).

I also strongly recommend inspecting the harness for nicks and tears before each use. These things are also chemically sensitive and are UV sensitive

I would go to a lot of other lengths before I went the harness/lanyard route,

Brian
The manual for the kit I bought mentions that the fall distance is at least 11 feet - 6' for the lanyard, 4' for free fall deceleration, and 1' for harness stretch. And that's to the D ring in on the back, so add on the distance from your feet to the D ring. And 2 feet safety margin, to equal approximately 18 feet. It's definitely not a foolproof solution, and you need to be aware of such things. Given that, though, I should be okay from that standpoint.
 

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Just remember, the less slack, the shorter the fall, the lesser energy = less likely for greater injury. Keep it short as workably possible. :good2:
 

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When I put concrete tile on my 2nd story a few years ago, I tried to use the Miller Fall Protection kit that had an anchor that you screwed into the ridge. I say "tried" because I could never get the harness to fit well and it'd throw me off balance. The couple of times my son came up to help me put on felt, he was able to use the harness just fine. I ended up using a waist rope. :dunno: I had scaffold, but it didn't quite reach the roof edge. This fall, I'll be back working on the 1 story, so this thread is of interest.

Question about the lanyard, particularly on 1 story: if you fall, the shock lanyard expands and you drop x ft further. My memory is probably faulty, but seems like the distance was almost 2/3 eave to ground meaning you'd actual hit the dirt. Doesn't sound like much protection. What am I missing?

Question about chicken ladder: Once the panels are up, how do you get the ladder off the roof safely?

Hey Oscar, before I started doing truss & roof work on the house (years ago), it was tough to get me up more than 3 steps on a ladder. :laugh:

edit:
The manual for the kit I bought mentions that the fall distance is at least 11 feet - 6' for the lanyard, 4' for free fall deceleration, and 1' for harness stretch.
That's what I was trying to remember about the lanyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oscar,
Listen to DS he has valid answers and points made. In my past life we did a lot of high work such as lightning protection on the Boone Island Lighthouse off the coast of York Maine and believe me, when you are 165 feet in the air replacing the finial then 145 feet and down sitting on a bosun's chair drilling granite you make sure your fall protection is up to par and properly tied off.. fear of heights,,, you get over that pretty quick so be careful and don't tie off to the truck bumper! Even though that was funny to read I'm sure I wouldn't have thought so if I saw the episode... And please buy a lanyard that has a shock absorber as mentioned.. That sudden stop can kill you. Take it from a guy who took lessons on high rope work, (steeple jack training and repelling) your life is in your own hands, be safe, even 6 feet can kill ya, and we want you to stick around for a while... Jeff
Yeah, Jeff, I'd never find myself 165 feet up... :lol: A little fear can be a healthy thing.

That's why I'm putting it out there on GTT, cause I know there are a lot of knowledgeable folks here who can give me good advice if I just ask. But I did already buy a harness/shock aborbing lanyard/anchor kit, and a cross arm anchor specifically rated for 5000 lb, which seems to be the usual rating on this stuff. And I'm weighing all the options carefully. I plan on living quite a while longer!
 

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When an extending lanyard is in use during a fall, it is decelerating you absorbing that energy. If you have it set up where the extension length cause you to hit the ground, at least it’ll be slower and less of an impact. But you’d prefer not to hit the ground in the first place. The fall isn’t what gets you, it’s the sudden stop when you hit an immovable object like the ground.

Please see my comments above referring to the “rope around the waist” method. This is very dangerous unless you have virtually no slack.

That guy I told that story about in a previous post never was able to walk right again due to the back injuries he received. He also said his guts were black and blue for weeks. Damn lucky he lived really.

My posts aren’t trying to be the safety police here, just passing along good information so y’all can make an informed decision on what you want to do. :drinks:
 
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