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Fall Arrest Equipment

Work at Height Regulations 2005….

In 2005/06 falls from height accounted for 46 fatal accidents at work and around 3350 minor injuries. They remain the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury. In April 2005 the Work at Height Regulations 2005 came into effect, applying to all work at height where the risk of a fall is liable to cause personal injury.

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Employers and any person that controls the work of others must ensure:

  • All work at height is properly planned and organised
  • Those involved in work at height are competent
  • The risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
  • The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled
  • Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained

Get the right protection….

A personal fall protection system is designed to secure you to an anchorage point in such a way that a fall from a height is either prevented or safely arrested. Anchorage points, connectors, harnesses and connecting devices do not on their own provide protection. However, used together in an appropriate manner they provide personal protection of vital importance.

Understand your fall factors to reduce the risks!

There are three fall factors in fall arrest that relate to the position of the anchorage point. They are used to determine the potential fall distance of a worker and so ensure that there is no risk of contact with the lower level in the event of a fall. When possible, the worker should always use an anchorage point at shoulder level or above (Factor 1 or 0). A higher anchorage point will reduce the fall distance and therefore significantly reduce the risk of injury on the body due to the impact forces of a fall.

Getting To Grips With The Work Hazards….

When using a shock-absorbing lanyard it is important to understand how to calculate the potential fall distance to avoid contact with the lower level.

The calculation below gives the minimum fall clearance required between the anchorage point of the lanyard (at Fall Factor 2) and the lower level.

  • Twice the length of the lanyard (to allow for the length of the lanyard and the height of the worker)
  • +1.75m deceleration distance to allow for the elongation of the shock absorber and any give in the lanyard
  • +1m safety margin

THE SWING FACTOR

If the lifeline is not anchored vertically over the working place, the worker will swing laterally in the event of a fall and can injure themselves by hitting either the ground below or an obstacle to the side. If it is not possible to use an anchorage point close to the work station, two anchorage points either side of the worker can be used to prevent any swing.

If In Doubt: Fall Limiters Reduce Fall Clearance <3M

A fall limiter or self-retracting lanyard will stop a fall in centimeters and is therefore the ideal solution for low-level work where a shock-absorbing lanyard is unable to stop the worker from hitting an obstacle below.

European Standards

EN 353-1 Guided Type Fall Arresters - Rigid anchorage and rails
EN 353-2 Guided Type Fall Arresters- Flexible anchorage line
EN 354 Lanyards (Fixed or Adjustable, maximum length 2m)
EN 355 Shock Absorbers
EN 358 Work Positioning Systems
EN 360 Retractable Type Fall Arresters
EN 361 Harnesses
EN 361 Harnesses
EN 362 Connectors
EN 362 Anchorage Devices - Class B
EN 363 Fall Arrest Systems
EN 795 Anchorage Devices - Class B