A fall arrest system has become a necessity in today’s day of age. It is the last line of defense that workers can rely on when they are exposed to fall hazards. There are other means of fall protection such as preventative measures like protective barriers, fall hazard warning signage, and personal restraints. The elements of the fall arrest system include body-holding devices such as a roof anchor point system, fall energy absorbing element, an anchor point, lanyards, connector equipment, and a harness.
Fall hazards tend to be the major source of occupational death or injury. It is due to this reason that every jurisdiction throughout the world has made occupational safety obligatory. Hence, fall arrest systems are mandatory for workers. A fall arrest system is vital for workers at a height where they are not sufficiently protected by protective apparatus, roof guardrails, restraint or barrier. Developed countries such as those in Europe require a risk assessment when employees work at height to determine the type and level of protection needed.
Now, even though the term fall arrest system normally refers to both personal fall arrest systems and general fall arrest systems, when used without a specification, the term refers to a personal fall arrest system in general. Both systems need to be properly anchored to be effective. In many jurisdictions such as the United States, there is a requirement for the anchor to be able to withstand at least twice the falling worker’s impact force.
Keep in mind that a fallen employee who is being suspended by the personal fall protection system is safe from harm. There is always the possibility of suspension trauma which is a fatal condition caused by an increase in pressure on the heart by the vertical suspension. Workers who are suspended have to be rescued before 10 minutes and brought to a horizontal position slowly to avoid any potential cardiac arrest.
Workers who work at height use a wide range of personal fall protection systems to position themselves or retrain them to protect themselves and prevent falling. When there is a risk of free fall from a height, there is a need for a fall arrest system to be in place.
Working at height is without a doubt dangerous. It does not matter what height it is. Appropriate collective fall protection measures such as a fall arrest system have various functions that prevent workers from falling. According to scientific research from biomechanical research, it has been revealed that the value of deceleration helps reduce the occurrence of injuries.
The fall arrest system needs to be designed to resist the maximum forces that develop during a fall, especially when used with roof walkway systems. The help with the deceleration on the wearer. However, it is vital to take into account certain factors such as wearer comfort, harness attachment location, physical fitness levels, and other factors. To decide the best course of action for fall arrest and fall restraint, a hierarchy of fall protection has to be considered. The best way to protect the worker needs to be determined.