A simple way of remembering the core components of a fall arrest system is the “ABC” of Fall Arrest. Quite simply, without one part, the system does not work.
A ANCHOR DEVICES
Definition: Used to join the connecting device (work restraint, fall arrester) to the anchorage, commonly referred to as the “tie-off point” (I-beam, scaffolding or other structural point).
Anchor devices may be one of the 2 types:
- Permanent anchor devices (e.g. horizontal cable lifeline, horizontal rail systems...).
- Temporary anchor devices (e.g. steel strops, scaffold hooks, webbing anchorage slings, beam grips and dead-weight anchor...).
B FULL BODY HARNESS
Definition: Used to hold a worker during & after a fall.
- Full body harness must be worn for Fall Arrest situations.
- Work restraint belts cannot be used for Fall Arrest.
C CONNECTING DEVICES
Definition: Used as intermediate attachment to connect the worker’s harness to the anchor device (e.g. shock absorbing lanyard, self-retracting lifeline, fall limiter, rope grab etc.).
Connecting devices may be one of the 2 types:
- Fall Restraint: a fall restraint system prevents workers from reaching a hazard.
- Fall Arrest: a fall arrest system allows workers to reach a hazard and then protects them if they should fall.