Fall Arrest Versus Fall Restraint

Most building and construction sites require that employees spend some or all of their day working at heights. Whether this work is carried out on a cherry picker, on scaffolding, or by operating an overhead crane, worker safety is clearly of paramount importance.

When considering which safety equipment for use by employees working at height, it’s important to know the difference between equipment designed for ‘fall arrest’ and for ‘fall restraint’, as there is a subtle difference between the two.

Working on the heights

Fall Arrest

Fall arrest systems work by stopping a worker from falling after a fall incident has already occurred. Fall arrest systems, such as harnesses, are generally more versatile than fall restraint systems. While wearing a fall arrest system harness, workers can easily move around hard-to-reach platforms and scaffolding to perform their duties.

Formal training is required in order for workers to be able to use and fit fall arrest systems correctly. Training also gives workers a clear idea of the different forms of hazards they are likely to face in different site situations, helping to prevent carelessness and accidents.

Fall Restraint

A fall restraint system prevents a worker from getting too close to a possible hazard. Fall restraint systems are more applicable to those working in fixed locations such as overhead cranes in Leeds where workers are not required to move around.

Fall restraint systems are passive and are designed to prevent a worker from actually reaching a hazardous area. Workers using such systems are not required to undertake any form of specialist training.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) demands that all construction businesses use appropriate fall protection systems on all their sites. Your choice of fall restraint or fall arrest systems will depend on several factors, including the number of employees working at heights and the type of work they are doing.

For more information and advice on the fall arrest and fall restraint systems for use in overhead cranes and other duties that involve working at heights, please contact us today by calling 0113 2455 457 or emailing info@petercassidy.co.uk, and we will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can browse our extensive range of safety equipment.

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