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Personal Fall Arrest System Cheat Sheet by

Personal Fall Arrest System
system     safety     personal     fall     arrest


A Personal Fall Arrest System is comprised of three (3) key components – Anchorage connector; Body wear; and Connecting device.

While a lot of focus has been given to anchorage connectors and body wear (full-body harnes­ses), when discussing fall protec­tion, the connecting device (a shock-­abs­orbing lanyard or self-r­etr­acting lifeline) between these two components actually bears the greatest fall forces during a fall.

Anchor­age­/An­chorage Connector

Anch­ora­ge: Commonly referred to as a tie-off point (Ex: I-beam, rebar, scaffo­lding, lifeline, etc.)
Anch­orage Connec­tor: Used to join the connecting device to the anchorage (Ex: cross-arm strap, beam anchor, D-bolt, hook anchor, etc.)
Anchorages must be capable of supporting 5,000 pounds (22kN) of force per worker.
Must be high enough for a worker to avoid contact with a lower level should a fall occur.
The anchorage connector should be positioned to avoid a “swing fall.”

Body Wear

The personal protective equipment worn by the worker (Ex: full-body harness)
Only form of body wear acceptable for fall arrest is the full-body harness.
Should be selected based on work to be performed and the work enviro­nment.
Side and front D-rings are for positi­oning only.

Personal Fall Arrest System

Connecting Device

The critical link which joins the body wear to the anchor­age­/an­chorage connector (Ex: shock-­abs­orbing lanyard, fall limiter, self-r­etr­acting lifeline, rope grab, etc.)
Potential fall distance must be calculated to determine type of connecting device to be used – typically, under 18-1/2 ft. (5.6m), always use a self-r­etr­acting lifeli­ne/fall limiter; over 18-1/2 ft. (5.6m), use a shock-­abs­orbing lanyard or self-r­etr­acting lifeli­ne/fall limiter.
Should also be selected based on work to be performed and the work enviro­nment.
Shock-­abs­orbing lanyards can expand up to 3-1/2 ft. (1.1m) when arresting a fall; attach lanyards to the harness back D-ring only; never tie a knot in any web lanyard – it reduces the strength by 50%.

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