Fall Arrest

Fall Arrest: "Systems, which serve as Personal Protective Equipment against falls from height"

The term 'Fall Arrest' means to arrest a fall whilst limiting the forces exerted upon the user to a maximum of 6kN, limiting possible injuries to the user.

Fall arrest systems require a minimum of an energy absorbing fall arrest lanyard, fall arrest full body harness and of course a helmet. Be sure to check that the helmet you are using is designed for work at height, such as Petzl work at height helmets.

Fall arrest techniques are common place in a vast range of industries such as scaffolders, theatre riggers, tower workers and mast climbers.

When selecting a fall arrest system you must be sure that you have explored all other means of protecting the user first. Fall arrest techniques should be implemented as a last resort to protect users against falls from height.

BS EN 363:2002 - PPE against falls from height - fall arrest systems

"A full body harness without energy absorber shall not be used as a fall arrest system"

"The assembler shall ensure that a component is compatible with any other component which may be assembled in a fall arrest system"

"The manufacturer or supplier shall give sufficient information on the compatibility of all components of a fall arrest system to the purchase"

"The assembler of a fall arrest system or a connecting sub-system for fall arrest purposes shall ensure that all components and elements intended for use in a fall arrest system have been proved capable of meeting the test requirements"

Understanding fall factors

Fall factors are relative to the distance of the fall against the length of lanyard or rope that absorbs it. A fall factor can be calculated using the following equation:

FALL FACTOR = Height of fall / Length or rope or lanyard

Where an energy absorbing lanyard refers to clearance it is the minimum distance required to prevent users striking the ground in the event of a fall. For more information please visit our page on energy absorbers clearance.

Fall factor one

Fall factor two


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