What is a Fall Arrest System?
Unlike a Fall Restraint System, a Fall Arrest System is designed to protect a worker once they have fallen off a building. Its design consists of a Connecting Device that links to the Anchorage, also known as a Safety Line. The other side of the Connecting Device is attached to the harness equipped on the subject’s torso, meaning if they fall off the edge of a roof, the harness will stop them from falling any further. This piece of equipment could be vital to preventing injury or worse, and a lot of buildings lack an up to date Fall Arrest System. These systems tend to be preferred when there is a fragile surface, narrow ledge, or unusual building/roof shape on-site, meaning there is limited space for movement and more risk of a fall.
The main difference between Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint
The difference between the two is within their titles. As mentioned above, a Fall Arrest System is something that occurs after a person has begun to free fall. Once they have fallen off a building, an ‘arrest’ takes place via the harness that is attached to them, preventing the worker from falling any further.
With a Fall Restraint system, the worker is prevented from falling completely. They are attached to a Fixed Anchor, and it consists of a body holding device that acts as a leash, preventing the worker from reaching the edge of the building or roof in the first place. This is generally preferred for normal shaped structures with enough walking space, however, they are not recommended for unusual working areas with limited room that make a fall more likely. That is when a Fall Arrest system should be used.
The Process of Installing a Fall Arrest System
If your building has areas of the structure where a Fall Arrest System might be necessary, you must have a solution installed as soon as possible. The best way to begin this process is by contacting a leading specialist within Working at Height systems, such as Heightsafe. The process begins with an enquiry, following your enquiry, you will receive a quote. Once you are happy with the quote and the job is commissioned, a thorough Risk Assessment will be carried out to make sure all persons involved in the project are protected and safe. Once the Risk Assessment has been completed, a date will be agreed for work will begin.
The first step of the installation process is making sure that a working Safety Line is in place. If there is one already installed, Heightsafe can Survey and Test this system to make sure it meets sufficient standards. If your building does not have a Safety Line, Heightsafe can install one for your building. Depending on the structure and its surroundings, the System will either be an Overhead Fall Arrest Track, or it will be a Steel Roof Safety Line that is attached to Anchors installed within the roof. Once the Safety Line has been tested, an appropriate fixed body length harness will then be applied, and this will be used whenever the building owner needs to work from height.