Fall arrest, fall restraint & fall prevention


What IS the difference?

When ensuring correct system selection, it is vital to understand working at heights terminology. Below is a a simple explanation of these three different terms which are used extensively in the height safety industry.  It is very important to follow the hierarchy of risk control which can be defined as:

  1. Eliminate the risk
  2. Provide a barrier or fence
  3. Use a fall arrest system

Fall prevention

Fall prevention

According to the hierarchy of control, this is the highest form of protection. This removes the risk of the worker falling by providing a barrier between them and the fall hazard. Guardrails and skylight protectors are examples of the types of equipment that fall into this category. This method requires the least amount of operator competence for working at heights.

 

Fall restraint

Fall restraint

This type of system restricts the movement of the worker in reaching the fall edge. The lanyard is typically a fixed length that does not extend past the fall edge and it effectively acts like a leash preventing a fall arrest situation from occurring. This method is dependant on correct operator use, especially if an adjustable length lanyard is being used. User competency and system training are essential when using fall arrest equipment.

 

It is important that anchorages and support structures are fall arrest rated (15 kN) even if the system is used as a restraint system.

 Fall arrest

Fall arrest

 

As it's name suggests, this type of protection arrests the fall of a worker once it has occurred. It does not prevent the worker from falling and has the highest potential for injury. In the hierarchy of control this form of protection is the least favourable, however is still a useful option when other means are not practicable.

 

For further information view our video - Selecting fall arrest equipment.

 

 

A rescue plan must be in place prior to any person using the fall arrest device.

Want more information of the different types of systems available to you? Contact the team at Sayfa on 1300 301 755 or sales@sayfa.com.au and one of our helpful representatives will give you the advice you need.