Fall Arrest Systems and Fall From Height Safety Information

Find information on Fall Arrest Systems including safety standards EN 363, EN 353-1, EN 353-2, EN 354, EN 355. Fall protection systems used as (ppe) personal protective equipment must meet guidelines from both EN and BS safety standards regarding fall from height safety applications.

Monday, 13 September 2010

EN Standards For Fall Protection

There are many regulations for safety equipments but perhaps none more important than fall safety regulations. A fall from even a small height can cause serious injury or on occasion can prove to be fatal.

These standards set out by the European Committee for Standardization are accepted in most countries including CEN Members Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and all EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Partner standardisation bodies also exist in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia and Ukraine. Including also a small number of affiliates such as Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey.

Some standards in industries such as construction are listed under the (CPD) Construction Products Directive with a CE mark, this is a certified declaration by the manufacturer/producer that a product complies within the respective EU directive in an effort to harmonize standards throughout.

#EN 353-1: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Guided type fall arresters including a rigid anchor.
#EN 353-2: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Guided type fall arresters including a flexible anchor line.
#EN 354: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Lanyards.
#EN 355: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Energy absorbers.
#EN 358: Personal protective equipment for work positioning and prevention of falls from a height. Belts for work positioning and restraint and work positioning lanyards.
#EN 360: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Retractable type fall arresters.
#EN 361: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Full body harnesses.
#EN 362: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height, Connectors.
#EN 363: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Fall arrest systems.
#EN 795: Protection against falls from a height. Anchor devices. Requirements and testing.
#EN 813: Personal protective equipment for prevention of falls from a height. Sit harnesses.
#EN 1891: Personal protective equipment for the prevention of falls from a height. Low stretch kernmantel ropes.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Fall Arrest Systems, Fall From Height Safety

Fall arrest is the form of fall protection which involves the safe stopping of a person already falling. It is one of many types of fall arrest protection, forms which also include fall guarding (general protection that prevents people from entering an area where falls are a risk (Guard rails) and fall restraint (personal protection which prevents people who are in a fall hazard area from falling, example fall restraint lanyards.

fall arrest safety harness Work Platform Fall Arrest Safety Harness for use on access platforms. This Fall restraint Harness Features One size fits all fully adjustable harness with back and chest attachment made from tough webbing complete with 1.5mt lanyard and 2 double locking mechanism karabiners. This Safety harness Conforms to EN361, EN354 and EN362 health and safety regulations. Caution A lanyard without energy dissipating element must not be used as fall arrest equipment.

EN361 All Safety harness's and fall arrest equipment have codes such as EN361: EN361 which is the minimum requirement for a full body safety harness, EN354, EN354 relates to the lanyard used in PPE worn for preventing falls when working at height Cross-References: 89/686/EEC, EN 358, ISO 1834, EN 362:1992, EN354 regulates the lanyards used in PPE to prevent falls. The requirements for personal protective equipment and work clothing are governed by current European legislation.

EN362: cross reference EN363, EN364:1992, EN365, EN20139:1992, ISO 139:1973, ISO 9227,89/686/EEC the terms and definitions given in EN 363 and the following apply. connector open-able device used to connect components, which enables the user to assemble a system in order to link himself/herself directly or indirectly to an anchor self-closing connector connector with a self-closing gate basic connector (class B) multi-use connector (class M) basic or screw link connector intended to be used as a component, which may be loaded in the major and minor axis termination connector (class T) self-closing connector designed.

There are many things to anchor to depending on the job in hand workers may also need guard rails and/or netting in area's where fall is a risk. EN362 Refers to Karabiners, Lifting tackle, Terminal fittings (ropes), Safety lines, Restraint systems (protective), Safety devices, Occupational safety, Accident prevention, Falling (accident), Position control, Performance, Strength of materials, Testing conditions, Full Details about EN Standards are available through the HSE website or the OHSA European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

EN353-1,(vertical rigid rail fall-arrest systems) The Fall guard , Fall guards unlike guard rails are vertical Fall guard system, not only can the user travel in a vertical direction utilising the turntable section, the user can move into an adjoining horizontal profile without disconnecting from the safety of the system. Where as there have been some cause for concern over the safety of such fall arrest systems, this is primarily due to end caps on such devices failing, one incident involved the arrester running off the end of the rigid rail anchor lines, even though there had been an end stop fitted. These concerns where aired back in June 2004, Manufacturers have been made aware of the concern since this date and all fall arrest equipment has to comply to EN & BS standards. Source of the findings British Standards Institution (BSI).

Fall Arrest Webbing and Lanyards are specially developed ropes, Webbing is a strong fabric woven as a flat strip or tube of varying width and fibers that are often used in place of rope. The name webbing comes from the meshed material frequently used in its construction, which resembles a web. This webbing can withstand great pressure and carry weight with ease, it's lightweight, durable and tough composition ensure the webbing preforms to it's peak in fall from height equipment.

Webbing comes in varying colours, styles, width's and strength and can be made of many materials. Modern webbing is often made from exceptional high strength material, including Dyneema, Nylon, Polyester, & Kevlar. For less performance-related applications, cotton, Polypropylene, and flax would be used.

lanyard Webbing Webbing such as this are used along with many fall arrest applications but is most commonly seen in the form of a car's seat belt, this picture below shows the tight weave needed to give such strength.this type of weave has a 6,000lb breaking strength.

Other webbing types used in fall arrest equipment are generally bright colours or high visibility for use in dark conditions, a different weave is used for fall arrest harness's similar to the weave shown to the right. Most people will think of the military when thinking of webbing and in fact it is very much the same high quality durable material, although the army tend not to want high visibility clothing.

Lanyard - Twin Webbing Shock Absorber < pictured left is the Froment Twin Webbing Shock Absorber Lanyard

Lanyards are a line for connecting a full body harness to an anchorage point with an inbuilt device that reduces the impact of a fall. Lanyards where originally used by the military to prevent loss of weaponry such as guns, swords and whistles and are more commonly used in today's world for straps for camera's and mobile devices, In hospitals and other places which require staff to wear ID badges around ones neck.

Common lanyard materials include polyester, nylon, satin, silk, Polyethylene & terephthalate or (PET), Making them very strong and ideal for fall arrest equipment.

High Visibility Fall arrest equipment such as this Full Body Harness With Integral Hi Vis Vest have become more popular than the run of the mill fall arrest systems as they serve as dual purpose workwear for both safety and visibility.

Full body harness

Full Body Harness With Integral High Visibility Vest designed to be used as part of a fall arrest system. Harness conforms to EN361, Vest conforms to EN471. Full body harness range by Froment. Every Froment fall arrest harness is certified to the highest safety standards EN361 whilst respecting the users need for comfort.

EN471 Refers to: High Visibility Clothing that should be manufactured to a recognised standard. The new British Standard for high visibility warning clothing is BS EN 471. This is a harmonised European standard produced with the legal requirements for PPE in mind.

These standards are set in class's

Class 1 Class 1 defines the lowest visibility level example, High-visibility trousers with two 5cm reflective strips around each leg. These become Class 3 when worn with a Class 3 jacket.

Class 2 The class 2 defines an intermediary visibility level. Example: vests. Two 5cm bands of reflective around body or on one 5cm band around body and braces to both shoulders.

Class 3 The class 3 defines the highest level of visibility. Example jacket with long sleeves, jacket and trouser suit. Two 5cm bands of reflective tape around the body, arms and braces over both shoulders.

(Source for high visibility class's Wikipedia)

British Standard BS EN 471 High visibility clothing 1994, for more information on Hi-Vis contact British Standards Institution, Sales Department, 389 Chiswick High Road, London W4 9AL; Tel: 0181 996 7000; Fax: 0181 996 7001.

Karibiners are perhaps the most important part of any safety harness whether working at height or enjoying a abseiling session, these are the safety devices that keep it all together.

Karabiner for use with lanyards and other accessories of fall arrest systems & equipment, for workers who are working at height.

Karibiners are commonly made from 7075 is an aluminium alloy metal with zinc as the primary alloying element. It's very strong, with excellent fatigue strength and average machineability, but has less resistance to corrosion than many other alloys.
And often T6 tempered (solution treated and then artificially aged)
Karibiners used in sports such as climbing, canoeing & sailing are often lighter in weight in comparison to industrial work use karibiners.

When used for access in commercial and industrial environments within Europe carabiners/karibiners must comply with EN 362:2004 "Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Connectors." The minimum gate closed breaking strain of a carabiner conforming with EN 362:2004 is nominally the same as that of EN 12275:1998 at around 20 kN. However, the gate open requirement is higher at 15 kN. Carabiners complying with both EN 12275:1998 and EN 362:2004 are available and all safety standards should be adhered to at all times to ensure safety.

Without fall arrest equipment many jobs would simply be to risky to undertake. Working at height is very dangerous even with the best equipment and care should always be taken to check, double check and triple check all related safety devices.

Back in the 1930's workers had no such equipment as fall arrest safety systems and relied only on there balance and down right dare devilness to complete some of the most spectacular buildings in the world. Many of you will be familiar with the old photos showing men at extraordinary heights doing these dangerous.

With special thanks for this image taken in 1932 by Charles C. Ebbets during construction of the RCA Building (renamed as the GE Building in 1986)

The image depicts 11 men eating there dinner on a steel girder at several hundred feet above the new york streets, without any safety equipment, without these men such safety devices as fall arrest equipment and harness's would not be possible.

Fall Arrester Self-retractable system, also known as "inertia blocks" these retractable systems with inertial braking mechanism slow the worker from falling rapidly but smoothly ideal for use when working on roofs, Steel framework, Scaffolding etc. They should be used only in the vertical plane with an overhead anchor unless the manufacturer's instructions clearly state otherwise. If this equipment is used in any other way, or combined with other components in a fall arrest system, it may be unsafe. Caution should be used when setting up any safety equipment.

In every work situation there are dangers present you and your employers should always take the up most care to ensure safety at all times. Safety is not only the equipment but the workers/employers common sense. If you work at height and are concerned for your safety then you should take action immediately. Talk with your employer if you feel something is unsafe, if your employer is unwilling to listen or does not understand your concern then do not be affaid to take the matter further.

There are many places you can contact for advice on safety regulations and codes of practice while working at height, ultimately do not put yourself or other in danger.

For more information on working at height visit the following
HSE (Health And Safety Executive)


EN-OHSA European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Froment Retractable 6m Fall Arrester with Karabiner

Product Code: AN122

Froment Retractable type fall arresters consisting of 2 shells in heavy-duty ABS, which improves shock and corrosion resistance. 4mm diameter galvanized cable, in 10 meter lengths, with double lock karabiner. Complies with EN360 standard.


Shells Heavy-Duty ABS

Froment 20mt Protecter Fall Arrester

Product Code: AN115

Self-retractable fall arrest equipment with Swivel Connector and Fall Indicator Galvanized cable 4mm. Cable length: 20m. Provided with an inertial braking mechanism and a built-in energy reducer. Dimensions : 500 x 256 x 118 mm


Casing Steel.
Cable Steel.
Weight: 9,7 kg.
Dimensions 500 x 256 x 118 mm.

For full information on where to buy fall arrest systems and work safety equipment visit the workwear blog.
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