The ABC of fall protection

On average, one fall accident occurs every minute in Europe. So pay attention when working at a height or depth, for example on a roof, scaffolding or well and always use fall protection equipment.

Fall protection equipment is classified as "Category III – PPE equipment against fatal or serious and irreparable danger". Fall protection equipment is used to:

  • Eliminate falls
  • Prevent falls
  • Lowering or lifting people – for example, in silos or wells.

Fall protection equipment should be used if you cannot otherwise plan and carry out your work properly with collective security, for example, railings, scaffolding or passenger hoists.

Fall protection consists of three parts

A fall protection system consists of an anchorage, a body and a connection device. Your fall protection system will not work if one of the parts is missing.

  • Anchorage
  • Body
  • Connection device

ABC (Anchorage, Body, Connection) is an easy way to remember the parts.

A) Fall Protection Anchorage

The anchorage is a connection point for the connection device. It must be a secure fastening and be able to withstand at least a drag of 1,200 kg. (12 kN). Existing anchorages can be found, for example, in an I-beam, building scaffolding or other fixed/structural point. Permanent anchorages may be, for example, anchor eyes, horizontal wire systems, horizontal rail systems. 

Temporary anchorages may be, for example, an anchoring loop of woven belting/wire, etc.).

The anchorage must, as far as possible, be positioned vertically above the user and it should not be possible to move away from the anchorage at an angle greater than 30 degrees. Otherwise there is a high risk of pendulum swinging, which can cause great damage.

B) The fall protection's Body Wear/Harness)

The body is used to hold and safely catch the user before, during and after a fall. There are many models of bodies and it is important that the body is properly adjusted to the wearer.

C) The Fall Protection's Connection device

Connection devices are used between the body and the anchorage, and are available in different variations:

  • Fall arrester line: Max. 2 meters with fall arrester
  • Fall protection block: With self-retracting line and integrated fall arrester.
  • Fall stop line: A fall protection system that allows users to work in a hazardous area and catch them should they fall (with fall arrester).
  • Guideline: A system that provides support to the user and at the same time prevents the user from reaching a hazardous area (not a fall arrester).

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