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Fall Protection Equipment… What’s The Difference?

The terms ‘fall arrest’ and ‘fall restraint’ are now widely used terms to describe the area of Fall Protection. Our staff here at Heightsafe Systems are regularly asked the question; what is the difference between the two?

As a result, we’ve put together this comparison table:

 

Fall Restraint

 

Fall Arrest

 

Fall Prevention

How is it used?Fall restraint equipment acts as tie off system to stop a worker from reaching a position at height in which they may be at risk of a fall hazard, for example; reaching a building edge.Fall arrest equipment prevents a worker who has fallen from reaching impact at a lower level through the use of an energy absorbing design system. This prevents serious injury.Fall prevention equipment prevents a worker from reaching a position at height in which they may be at risk of a fall hazard by placing a barrier, such as a rooftop guardrail system, between the worker and the hazard.
When is it used?This system is generally used when work at height cannot be avoided and no other equipment, such as a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), can be accessed, for example; maintaining gutters or carrying.

 

 

 

 

This equipment is used when hands-free work is necessary at height and no other equipment, such as a MEWP, can be accessed.  Fall arrest system provide maximum freedom of movement for workers to carry out their duties. In the event of a fall, the system ‘arrest’ the decent and so allow the person to either effect a self-rescue or be rescued.As a fixed system, fall prevention equipment should be used whenever a worker is completing work at height.
Equipment needed.Fixed length, single lanyards which have captive eye double action hooks at either end. One hook fastens to the worker’s harness whilst the other end is tied off at a pre-set length from an anchor point. Click here to see products.

 

A full body harness is connected to a double lanyard using a single energy absorber. Lanyards are supplied at the ‘working end’ with various types of safety connector depending on the work activity and anchor point available. It is tied off at an anchor point. Click here to view products.No individual equipment required, but include products such as guardrails, roofing walkways and skylight fall prevention systems
Is training required?Yes, extensive training before use. Once initial training is complete, ongoing training must be continued. Heightsafe Systems provides specialist training.

 

 

Yes, extensive training before use. Once initial training is complete, ongoing training must be continued. Heightsafe

Systems provide a wide range of training courses.

None required as no personal equipment is used.
Does the equipment need inspecting?Yes – Must be tested and inspected before and after every use.Yes – Just like Fall restrain, Fall arrest equipment should be tested and inspected before and after every use.Yes – British Standard BS EN 365:2004 requires that all fall protection components should be tested and inspected at least every 12 months.
CostingLower initial costs but other costs include training, inspection, maintenance and replacement.Lower initial costs but other costs may come in the form of training, inspection, maintenance and replacement.Higher initial installation cost.
Level of risk involved when using equipment.Low/midHighNone

 

Heightsafe Systems is a specialist provider of safety solutions, including re-testing of safety equipment and comprehensive training programmes. The company’s extensive range of fall protection solutions can be adapted to fit most applications, which includes freestanding guardrail systems, fixed guardrail, and collapsible guardrail, as well as horizontal and vertical fall arrest safety lines. Our aim is to eliminate risks for those working in elevated situations.

For more information on how we can create a safer working at height environment for your staff, contact Heightsafe Systems on: 020 3819 7199 or contact us here.

14th September 2016 10:35 am

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