There are several different types of personal protective equipment and fall protection systems which can be used to keep aerial workers safe as they carry out their tasks at height:
Work restraint systems
Work restraint systems include equipment items such as lanyards which can be adjusted or set to a fixed length. These ensure aerial workers remain safe as they prevent them from being able to physically reach a place where they could fall, e.g. a roof edge or weak surface.
Work positioning systems
Work positioning systems enable users to work in tension or suspension so that a fall can be prevented or limited. In many instances, a back-up positioning system is needed, just in case the main support fails.
Rope access systems
Rope access systems work by using two ropes (a working rope and a safety rope), each of which is secured to a reliable anchor. The user’s harness is then attached to both ropes so that they are able to get to and from their designated work area without falling.
Fall arrest systems
Fall arrest systems work by limiting the distance which an aerial worker could fall and thereby prevent them from hitting the ground. Fall arrest anchor points should be positioned as high above the user’s feet as possible as this will help to limit the distance of any fall.
Naturally, aerial workers who use these systems need comprehensive height safety training to ensure they are fully versed in the operational demands of their equipment.