Fall arrest systems prevent personnel from falling in construction sites, factories, and other industrial locations. They can be installed and configured to work horizontally, vertically, overhead, or along specific inclines. There are many different types of fall arrest systems. Examples include personal fall arrest systems, fall protection systems, roof fall arrest systems, safety cable and harness systems, tie offs, and railings. A personal fall arrest system includes connectors, a body belt, a body harness, or lanyards. A fall protection system is used in construction activities where the work to be performed is at a height greater than six feet. A roof fall arrest system is used on rooftops for maintenance, inspection, and repair tasks. A safety cable and harness system allows a falling worker to drop several feet before arresting the fall. Tie offs are tied at or above the D-ring point of the belt or harness worn by a worker. Railings and floor grating systems are basic fall arrest systems that prevent personnel from falling from platforms.
Selecting fall arrest systems requires an analysis of performance specifications. A personal fall arrest system consists of three parts: a full body harness, an anchorage connector that guarantees a secure base connection, and a shock-absorbing lanyard to remove the strain out from the fall. Specifications for a fall protection system include maximum working load (lbs.), maximum arresting force of (lbs. /ft.), and working capacity (9 ft.). A roof fall arrest system with a rope length 23 ft. may have a height capability of 17.7 in., a width of 8.0 in., and a maximum working load of 300 lbs. A tie offs support system may feature a 5000 lbs. capacity to tie each worker. Other specifications for fall arrest systems vary by system type.
Fall arrest systems are designed and manufactured to meet both industry specifications and safety requirements. Applications for fall arrest systems include power transmission, telecommunication, computer, and aerospace applications. Many fall arrest systems adhere to guidelines from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA fall protection guidelines are designed ensure the safety of workers on buildings, bridges, and towers. A safety cable and harness system must meet applicable military specifications (MIL-SPEC) or military standards (MIL-STD).