While a fall factor is not called out specifically by ANSI or OSHA, understanding the concept is important in the mitigation of risk when working at height.
Fall factor is the measurement of the relative severity of a fall, and can be calculated as follows:
Fall Factor (FF) = Distance Fallen ÷ Rope in Service
- Always keep FF as low as possible at all times
- Consider clearance of obstacles in path of potential fall
- Don’t forget to factor in the deployment length of a shock pack