Aside from the benefit of stunning views daily, aerial jobs pose clear workplace safety risks. Therefore, it is essential that all height workers, such as arborists, glaziers, light technicians, roofers, steel workers and window cleaners, adopt the latest fall protection gear and ensure their equipment is regularly inspected.
As leading providers of fall protection equipment and reliable working at heights harness inspection, the Newcastle Safety Servicing team has years of experience in aerial job safety equipment inspections. The expert Newcastle Safety team are here to outline the different fall arrest systems best suited to your occupation.
Before we discuss the different types of fall arrest system varieties in detail, let’s first define fall arrest system in the context of industry safety. A fall arrest system is safety equipment that protects aerial workers from falling at dangerous heights. When the system senses falling, it arrests the system and prevents the fall. Fall arrest systems are proven to save workers from injury or death, so all industries need to invest in the available fall protection equipment. However, investing in the proper protective equipment isn’t enough. Industry professionals should schedule regular fall protection inspection services to ensure that the equipment remains functional.
The different types of fall arrest systems are divided into two main types; general and personal. General fall arrester types should be used in absolutely every working at height situation and include safety nets or scaffolding.
Personal fall arrester types are safety systems that require the installation of specific height safety PPE attachment systems such as harnesses. Scaffolding is a crucial element of fall arrest systems and should be built on every worksite wherever possible. In the next section of this article, we’ll define fall arrest system types available for your industry:
There are 3 types of fall arrest systems, including type 1 fall-arrester device, type 2 and type 3 fall-arrest devices. Type 1 fall-arrester device attaches to ropes, rails or anchorage lines. They travel in the direction of the line and lock when they are loaded, arresting the fall. The type 2 fall arrest device refers to a spring-loaded anchorage that locks when loaded and releases when the load is removed. The most common type 2 fall-arrester device that everyone will be aware of is the seatbelt. Lastly, the type 3 fall-arrest device is an inertia reel that includes a retrieval function most commonly used in confined spaces. Type 3 fall-arrest devices protect against falls when accessing the confined space and help with the exit process.
Fall arrest systems and fall restraint systems are easily confused. However, fall arrest and fall restraint are different types of fall arrest systems with a simple, yet significant variance. A fall arrest system will sense that the user is falling and will lock to prevent the fall from occurring. On the other hand, a fall restraint system is a more rigid piece of equipment that will prevent the fall from happening in the first place.
We mentioned the types of roles that benefit from the use of fall-arrest systems earlier in this article. The professions that may require fall arrest systems include arborists, light technicians, roofers, glaziers, steel workers and window cleaners. Fall arrest systems are designed to allow for the greatest flexibility and freedom of movement for aerial workers undertaking tasks at height. An example of everyday use of fall arrest systems can vary from roof workers preventing falls through a karabiner system or a window cleaner of a multi-story building attaching themselves to a safety harness. The full range of safety equipment related to aerial workers includes self-retracting lifelines, connectors and karabiners, safety harnesses equipment, pole straps and lanyards.
If you’re working at a height where there is a risk of injury without safety equipment, the implementation of different types of fall arrest systems is necessary. No matter whether the risk of injury is minimal, you’re working at the height for a short amount of time, or you’re in a rush, there’s never a wrong time to use a fall arrest system. It’s essential to prioritise your safety and call out any behaviours or actions you deem to be unsafe in the workplace.
Working at height carries a multitude of severe risks without the adequate use of fall arrest systems. Different types of fall arrest systems are an essential part of workplace safety for height workers as they absorb the shock that is otherwise inflicted upon the body in the event of a fall from a height. Industry professionals carefully select our Fall Protection Equipment range from Newcastle Safety Servicing who understand the rigours and demands of working at height. If you are ready to invest in better safety for your workplace, contact Newcastle Safety Servicing today to secure industry-leading equipment.