Introduction to Overhead Fall Protection Systems
A fall arrest system is a system which is used to stop a worker from falling.
The “arrest” in “fall arrest system” means a stoppage or sudden cessation of motion, not “arrest” as in to seize someone by legal authority.
Fall arrest systems are extremely important to keep workers safe when working from dangerous heights.
Workers and employers should have a good understanding of fall arrest systems and know how to properly utilize them.
The 3 Main Components of a Fall Arrest System
There are 3 main components in a fall arrest system: the anchor, the lanyard or SRL, and the harness.
Understanding these components will help you select the proper fall protection system to meet your specific needs.
The horizontal lifeline is the mounted support point which will provide the holding power to the fall system.
Typically the horizontal lifeline will be attached to a building structure. In manufacturing settings, a typical horizontal lifeline would be an overhead beam or track system.
It is absolutely essential that the horizontal lifeline be securely attached in order for the rest of the fall system to operate at its rated standard.
Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRL)
The self-retracting lifeline is a device that acts similar to seat belts.
If a worker falls, the device will detect the fast momentum and apply the brakes.
The final main component of a fall arrest system is the safety harness.
A safety harness plays a very important role.
A safety harness is meant to disperse the force of a fall to many different points on the falling person’s body.
This dispersion of force is what separates a fall system from a noose, and for that reason it is very important to properly wear a fall harness.
Too loose and the shock from the fall won’t be properly dispersed and can still injure the faller.
Too tight and circulation can be cut during suspension which can be very dangerous if the person is suspended for even a relatively short period of time.
Knowing how to wear a fall harness is critical for it to work as it was designed to work.
Understanding the purpose of the different components of a fall protection system can be key to selecting the right system for your business.
Get a fall protection system from PWI today. Our team can help you determine the best options for your specific needs.
As mentioned above, safety procedures should always be properly followed in order for any fall arrest system to work as intended.
Combine proper safety practices with quality fall protection equipment and you can rest assured that your employees will be safe from deadly falls.