Workers must wear personal fall-protection equipment and connect themselves to an overhead anchorage when working from swing-stage or suspended scaffolding. Thus, masonry construction firms that do tuckpointing, apply water-repellent coatings, or work on high-rise buildings need to be familiar with fall-arrest systems. Both OSHA and ANSI standards include fall-protection requirements. Because the requirements are complicated, it's important to read the standards and assess your particular situation. Guardrails are required on all scaffolds 10 feet or more above the ground. But on swing-stage or suspended scaffolding, workers must also tie off to an overhead anchorage point independent of the scaffold. They must wear a body belt or a harness that can be secured to a lanyard or lifeline. Because falls account for approximately 40% of construction fatalities, OSHA is cracking down on fall hazards. FULL-BODY HARNESSES Many contractors are switching from safety belts to full-body harnesses. Falling 3 feet when wearing just a belt can cause intense pain; greater distances can result in serious injury. With a full-body harness-including leg straps- the shock load is distributed over the wearer's body rather than concentrated at the abdomen. LANYARDS The importance of buying a good lanyard cannot be overstated. Be willing to pay more for a shock-absorbing lanyard. Select nylon rope, nylon or polyester web, or steel lanyards depending on the application. ANCHORAGE Workers on swing-stage scaffolding generally tie off to the roof or an overhead steel beam. Other approved anchorage points include eye bolts and integral building structures. MAINTENANCE Before each use, examine a fall-arrest system for signs of wear or deterioration. Destroy and replace any component that does not pass inspection.