These systems do not prevent a fall from occurring but are designed to catch an individual in the event of a fall. Therefore, they are used when a fall could take place. There is a vast amount of fall arrest systems that use varying methods to arrest a fall. One thing they do have in common is fall arrest system will have an energy absorber built into the system to absorb some of the energy produced during a fall. Fall arrest systems should only be used by trained and competent individuals.
Complete a pre-use inspection
Make sure the individual is trained and competent in the type of fall arrest system used
Make sure the fall arrest system is attached to an unquestionably reliable anchor
Make sure the fall arrest system is correctly attached to the harness
Make sure the harness is fitted correctly
Never use fall arrest equipment unless trained and competent in its use. This may require further training in different fall arrest systems
User is untrained and incompetent in the fall arrest systems use
Ill fitted harness
Poor anchor selection or attachment
Hitting obstacles during a fall
Poor placement of anchors creating a larger fall or potential to take a large swing
The videos below demonstrates a number of DO’s and Don’ts on different fall arrest systems as well as what actually happens to the human body during a fall.