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Mandatory life line: the Italian legislation on working at height

Carrying out work at height is a widespread condition which poses a very high risk for operators.
Accidents related to a fall constitute the majority of accidents at work by frequency and severity. For this reason, there are numerous regulations on the lifeline and fall protection systems from above.

The regulatory references on fall arrest systems from above or life lines:

  • define the obligation to provide fall protection systems from above
  • define guidelines for the design
  • regulate the production of anchor points and lifelines
  • they give indications for assembly , overhaul and maintenance .

Life line: the regulations of Legislative Decree 81/08
The law that regulates working at a national level is the Legislative Decree 81/08.

In particular, Article 105 lists all the work that, if performed at height, must be protected from falls from above, such as:
construction, maintenance, repair, demolition, conservation, rehabilitation, renovation or equipping, transformation, renovation or dismantling of fixed, permanent or temporary works, in masonry, reinforced concrete, metal, wood or other materials, including electrical lines and systems, road, railway, hydraulic, maritime, hydroelectric works, reclamation works, assembly and disassembly of prefabricated elements used for the construction of building works or civil engineering, etc …

These processes, according to Article 107 of Legislative Decree 81/08, are considered at a height if carried out at a height greater than 2 meters with respect to a stable floor.

If collective protection measures have not been implemented as required by article 111, (paragraph 1, letter a), it is necessary that the workers working at height are equipped with suitable protection systems for the specific use composed of different elements, not necessarily present at the same time.

These elements are configured in :

  • energy absorbers
  • connectors
  • anchoring device (type A anchor points compliant with UNI 11578: 2015)
  • lanyards
  • retractable devices
  • guides or flexible life lines (type C life lines compliant with UNI 11578: 2015)
  • rigid guides or lifelines
  • harnesses.

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