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Fall Protection Standards

EN 12841/C

Rope access systems - back up devices

EN 341

Descenders

EN 354 - Shock Absorbers

Connection elements or equipment component. A lanyard can be in rope made of synthetic fibers, in metallic
rope, in strap or in chain. Maximum length : 2m.
Caution: A lanyard without energy dissipating element must not be used as a fall arrest equipment.

EN 354 - Lanyards

Component of a fall arrest equipment, which guarantees the stop of a fall from a height in safety by reducing
the impact of the shock.

EN 358 - Work Positioning Systems

A work positioning system consists of components (work positioning belt and lanyard) linked to one another
to form a complete equipment.

EN 360 - Retractable Type Fall Arresters

Fall arrester with self locking device and a self-retractable system for the lanyard. An energy dissipating
element can be built-in to the equipment.

EN 361 - Full Body Harness

Body gripping device intended to stop falls. The full body harness can be made of straps, buckles and other
elements , set and adjusted in a right way on the body of an individual to hold him back during a fall and
afterwards.

EN 362 - Connectors

Connection element or equipment component. A connector can be a karabiner or a hook.

EN 363 - Fall Arrest Systems

Set of personal protective equipment against falls from a height, linked to one another and intended to stop a
fall. A fall arrest equipment must contain at least a full body harness and a fall arrest device.

EN 795(B) - Anchorage Devices - Class B

An anchor device with one or more stationary anchor points without the need for structural anchor(s) or fixing
element(s) to fix it to the structure, e.g. a webbing sling.

EN 813 - Sit Harness

Harnesses (or additional attachments on a full body harness) intended for use where free-fall is not used – in
particular, work positioning/restraint and for use in abseiling or rope access.

 

Risk Assessment

The fall arrest devices listed here are designed to protect people’s lives. The equipment should be selected,
used, maintained and stored by competent and properly trained personnel who will carefully:

1 Assess the fall risks on the site, taking into account working conditions and hazards.
2 Define an appropriate fall arrest system for the job and provide an appropriate rescue plan.
3 Preferably select all system components from the same manufacturer.
4 Check the equipment selected complies with the laws and standards in force, or is suitable for the
proposed work.
5 Check the conditions of use of the system by reading and complying with the instructions supplied
with the components, ensuring the equipment is only used under conditions and in operations for
which it is suitable.
6 Provide the user with initial and continuing training necessary for handling, using, maintaining and
storing the equipment entrusted to him.
7 Select reliable anchorage points located as close as possible to the user and if possible above the
user having a minimum static strength at failure of at least 1,500 daN.
8 Check carefully each of the system components before each use, and maintain an inspection
programme taking into consideration the conditions of use.
9 Avoid users working alone.
10 Store under conditions that will not alter the system components.
11 Prevent any modification of a system component without prior agreement from the manufacturer.
12 Report any defect, anomaly, wear or fall that might affect the system component.

 

The basics of Fall Arrest
When collective protective systems are not feasible on a work site, a personal fall arrest system is required. This equipment is designed to secure a person to an anchorage point in such away that a fall from height is either totally prevented or safely arrested. Whilst a worker will hopefully never have a fall, the equipment should be comfortable enough for all day wear.

A - ANCHORAGE POINT & CONNECTOR
Anchorage Point: Commonly referred to as a secure tie-off point (e.g. a girder, scaffolding, lifeline). The anchorage point:
• must have a static resistance >10kN during 3 minutes (EN 795b).
• should be located high enough to avoid contact with a lower level should the worker fall and be as vertical as possible to the working place. Anchorage Connector: Used to join the intermediate attachment to the anchorage point (e.g. webbing strap, steel sling, girder grip).
• Should be adapted to the anchorage point and have a minimum static resistance of 15kN for 3 minutes (EN 362).

B - BODY WEAR
Full Body Harness: The personal protective worn by the worker.
• Its role is to hold the worker if a fall occurs, so that the worker will not be injured nor slip out of the harness.
• The safest form of body wear for use in fall arrest applications is the full body harness. Belts can be used for work positioning and restraint applications.
• It should be selected based on the work to be performed and
the work environment.
• Each anchorage point on the harness should have a static resistance >15kN for 3 minutes (EN 361 and EN 358).


C - CONNECTING DEVICE
Intermediate Attachment: This is the critical link that joins the harness to the anchorage point or connector (e.g. shock absorbing lanyard, fall limiters and self retracting lifelines, rope grab).
• Its role is to limit the free fall of the worker and should be selected based on the work to be performed and the work environment.
• The potential fall distance must be calculated to determine the type of intermediate attachment to be used.
Individually these components will not provide protection from a fall. Used properly in conjunction with each other, however, they form a Personal Fall Arrest System that becomes vitally important to the safety on the site and the overall fall protection programme.

Work Positioning
When access is not feasible by traditional methods (platform, mewp, etc) a worker may be required to use technical height access equipment. In this case, the Fall Protection Equipment goes beyond a basic fall arrest system: it becomes the essential equipment required by the worker to carry out the job in a secure, hands-free position at height.


A - ANCHORAGE POINT & CONNECTOR
Anchorage Point: A secure tie-off point (e.g. permanent fall arrest systems, horizontal lifelines, etc). Anchorage Connector: Used to join the intermediate attachment to the anchorage point.


B - BODY WEAR
Full Body Harness: may be a sit in harness with padded leg straps or seat for work in suspension or full body harness with padded waist belt for a supported hands-free work position.
• It should allow full freedom of movement and protect the worker if a fall occurs, so that the worker will not be injured nor slip out of the harness.
• It should be selected based on the work to be performed and the work environment.


C - CONNECTING DEVICE
C0 Intermediate Attachment: This is the critical link that joins the harness to the anchorage point or connector (e.g. lanyard, fall limiters, rope grab etc).
• Its role is to limit the free fall of the worker and should be selected based on the work to be performed and the work environment.
C2 Work Positioning System: This is the unit used to hold a worker in a secure, hands-free working position (e.g. work positioning lanyard, locking descender).
• In a rescue situation, this device may need to support the weight of two people.

Five functional categories


1. Fall Arrest:
The legislation states that a fall arrest system be used when working at a height where a fall hazard exists. This system consists of:
• Anchorage point/anchorage connector.
• Bodywear – full body harness.*
• Intermediate attachment with shock absorbing element.


2. Work Positioning:
A positioning system is used to hold a worker in place allowing a
hands free work environment at elevated heights. This typically
consists of:
• Anchorage point/anchorage connector.
• Bodywear – harness or belt.**
• Intermediate attachment – positioning lanyard and fall arrest
system.

 

3. Confined Space:
Primarily used when workers must enter tanks, manholes, etc and may require retrieval from above, should an emergency occur.
This typically consists of:
• Anchorage point: tripod, davit arm.
• Bodywear – full body harness (2 or 3 anchorage points).
• Intermediate attachment – retractable lifeline/retrieval unit.


4. Rope Access:
When traditional access methods are not feasible, rope access systems will suspend the operator at the work site and provide for hands-free positioning. This system consists of:
• Anchorage point/anchorage connector.
• Bodywear – 2 or 3 point full body sit harness.
• Intermediate attachment – static line with rope grab and static rope with ascenders and controlled descent devices.


5. Rescue:
Carried out within a minimum delay and without risk of a fall, rescue may involve self evacuation, or a more technical evacuation involving a fully trained and specialised team.
• Anchorage point (e.g. quadpod)/anchorage connector.
• Bodywear – 2 or 3 point full body harness and rescue sling,
triangle or stretcher.
• Intermediate attachment – evacuation unit, fall arrest device, pulley systems for hauling.
*When choosing personal fall protective equipment, it is recommended that you plan for a possible rescue or evacuation, a 2 or 3 point harness will allow you to attach a rescue device.
**positioning belts can only be used without a harness when a fall hazard does not exist.

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